This is a good report and while we should rejoice in every step, we must remember this is not nearly enough. We should have every state changing the “minimum wage” to a real “livable wage” that will decrease the astonishing wealth gap in America (see Network’s blog on the wealth gap for more info).

From Chicago Tribune:

PHOENIX (Reuters) – Ten states kicked off the new year with a minimum wage rise of between 10 and 35 cents, modestly boosting the incomes of nearly 1 million low-paid workers.

The rises went into effect on Tuesday in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. The increase will put an extra $190 to $510 per year into the pocket of the average minimum-wage worker, according to a study by the non-partisan National Employment Law Project, released last month.

Rhode Island’s minimum wage hike followed a law signed by the state’s independent governor, Lincoln Chafee, in June. The other states hiked their minimum wages in accordance with state laws requiring annual adjustments to keep pace with inflation, the study said.

“For a low-wage worker, these increases are a vital protection against rising costs. In states without indexing, inflation slowly erodes the value of minimum wage workers’ pay,” said David Cooper, an analyst with the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute.

The increases ranged from 10 cents an hour in Missouri – where the minimum wage is $7.35 an hour as of January 1 – to 35 cents in Rhode Island, where the new minimum wage increased to $7.75.

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