Bill in Legislature would raise state's minimum wage to $12 an hour over next four years

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington state's minimum wage, already the highest statewide wage in the country, would get a boost to $12 an hour over the next four years if lawmakers pass a bill under consideration by the state House.

The House Labor Committee listened to arguments for and against the bill in a crowded hearing Monday afternoon and is scheduled to make a recommendation on the bill Thursday morning.

A similar bill last year that would have raised Washington's minimum wage to $12 by 2017 failed to make it to the House floor for a vote.

House Labor Chairman Rep. Mike Sells, D-Everett, said after the meeting he expects this year's minimum-wage bill to advance through the Democrat-controlled House, partly because it calls for a more gradual increase to $12 from the current $9.47 per hour.