ST. PAUL (AP) - The Minnesota House has passed a bill allowing employers to pay tipped staff a lower hourly wage if tips bring their pay above $12 an hour.

The move comes just a year after the first minimum wage increase in nearly a decade bumping the state's floor wage up to $9.50 an hour by 2016.

The Republican-controlled House voted 78 to 55 Monday night to hold the minimum wage at its current $8 hourly for tipped workers who pull in enough in tips. Most Democrats voted against the bill.

Most states have lower minimum wages for tipped workers. Republicans argue the change is necessary in Minnesota to shield businesses from rising labor costs.

Democrats who control the Senate and governor's office have signaled they won't take up the bill.