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(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voted today to support America's workers by voting to pass the first increase in the federal minimum wage in 10 years. The legislation will raise the minimum wage from the current rate of $5.15 to $7.25 over the next two years. The legislation, H.R. 2, passed the Senate by a vote of 94-3. Senator Murray released the following statement on passage of the bill:

"America's workers have helped our country make tremendous gains in productivity and economic growth, and they deserve to share in the prosperity they've created. It’s been almost 10 years since Congress last raised the minimum wage and during that time, the value of wages has fallen while the costs of health care, energy, and housing have gone up significantly. I am glad that we are finally giving America's workers the pay raise they have earned.

"In Washington State we have the highest minimum wage in the country. We also have a thriving economy, a low unemployment rate, and a growing job market. We are living proof that a livable minimum wage is good for our state economy, good for our small businesses, and good for our citizen's.

"By raising the minimum wage to $7.25, we are putting an extra $4,400 a year into the pockets of workers across the country. This is money that will enable struggling families to afford utilities, rent, groceries, and tuition. It will allow working parents to better support their families, and low-wage workers to improve their quality of life. I am proud to have been able to stand with America's workers in this fight."

Earlier Release: 1/24/07 - Senator Murray Speaks on the Senate Floor in Favor of Raising the Minimum Wage (Video, Photo, Text)