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Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislative leaders reached a deal on Thursday to raise New York state's minimum wage towards $15 per hour, but fell short of a uniform state-wide increase.
Also on Thursday, a plan to raise California's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 cleared its toughest legislative hurdle, putting the state on track to become the first in the nation to commit to such a large pay hike for the working poor.
The measure, incorporating a deal Governor Jerry Brown reached with labor leaders and fellow Democrats in the Legislature, was approved in the state Assembly, where it faced opposition from Republicans and some moderate Democrats, and is expected to go before the more liberal state Senate as soon as Thursday afternoon.
The New York deal outlines a faster rise in New York City, but carves out a slow lane for small businesses and surrounding counties. In less prosperous areas north of the city it rises to $12.50 per hour before a state review of the law's impact.
The minimum wage agreement was part of a broad budget deal that Cuomo announced late on Thursday.
The minimum wage has been a controversial element in difficult budget negotiations that threatened to delay the spending plan past the start of the New York's fiscal year on April 1. The agreement, including the minimum wage, still needs to get approval from lawmakers.
Under the terms of the deal the minimum wage would rise from its current $9 per hour to $15 over three years in New York City starting on Dec. 31, 2016. City businesses with up to 10 employees would be given four years to implement the measure.