OLYMPIA, Wash. - Voters in Washington state have approved an initiative that would raise the statewide minimum wage.
Initiative 1433 would raise the hourly wage by roughly $4 over three years, to $13.50.The measure also would require employers to provide paid sick leave -- at least one hour for every 40 worked -- that could be used to care for family members or as "safe leave" for those who miss work because of domestic violence.
Washington's current minimum age is $9.47 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Supporters of I-1433 said giving low-wage workers hundreds in extra monthly pay will boost the state's economy. Opponents of the measure said raising the wage by nearly half could cost jobs and force businesses to close.
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