Minimum-wage workers in California would see their first raises in six years under a bill that has passed the state Assembly.
The measure from Democratic Assemblyman Luis Alejo of Watsonville would increase the state's minimum hourly wage to $8.25 next year from the current $8. It would rise to $9.25 in 2016 and would be adjusted for inflation in following years.
Business leaders have opposed the measure, which they say would force employers to cut thousands of jobs.
Democratic supporters say the minimum wage has not kept pace with rising costs of food, gasoline and other necessities. Alejo says the states of Nevada, Oregon and Washington have set their minimum wages higher than California.
The Assembly approved AB10 Thursday on a 42-24 party-line vote, sending it to the Senate.