ST. PAUL (AP) - Minnesota is moving toward its first minimum wage hike since 2005.

The House Ways and Means Committee on Monday passed a bill to bump the state's floor wage in three steps until it hits $9.50 per hour in 2015. After that, wages would increase according to inflation. A floor vote is likely by Friday.

The minimum wage in Minnesota is currently $6.15 per hour. It was last raised in 2005.  The bill also includes changes to allow more unpaid leave time for new parents, and would make most employers pay overtime after 40 hours worked.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, a Golden Valley Democrat, says his bill will help Minnesotans get by. Republicans say it would harm small businesses, causing layoffs and higher prices.

Senators are considering a smaller increase.

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