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Voters OK Minimum Wage Hikes in 4 States, 2 Calif. Cities

The dust has settled from Election Day 2014, and voters in four states have supported ballot measures to raise the minimum wage.

Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota voted to raise the minimum wage in their respective states, reports The New York Times. The trend also continued in two California cities, San Francisco and Oakland, whose voters approved plans to raise the minimum wage by 2015.

Here's what you need to know about these minimum wage increases:

Alaska

In America's most northern state, more than two-thirds of voters approved a measure to raise the minimum wage from $7.75 per hour to $8.75 by January 2015, and to $9.75 by January 2016. NBC News reports that this change will affect approximately 46,000 workers, many of whom already receive the Alaska dividend.

Arkansas

A majority of the Natural State's voters approved plans to raise the minimum wage from the current $6.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour over the course of the next three years. NBC News reports that over 100,000 workers should see their first incremental raise by January 2015.

Nebraska

On slightly smaller margins, Nebraska voters approved a bill which would raise the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $9 per hour in January 2016. Like other states, the first incremental bump will be felt when minimum wage increases to $8.00 per hour in January 2015.

South Dakota

Minimum wage workers in South Dakota can celebrate after voters approved a one-time increase from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 per hour in January 2015. Future increases to the minimum wage will continue on January 1 of each coming year based on the increase in the cost of living.

San Francisco and Oakland

Voters in San Francisco and Oakland, California, also approved local ballot measures which would raise the minimum wage in their respective cities. San Francisco already boasts one of the highest minimum wages in the country, but is following the lead of Seattle, which plans to eventually raise minimum wage to $15 per hour. San Francisco minimum wage workers will see $15 per hour wages by 2018, with incremental increases each year.

In nearby Oakland, voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to raise the minimum wage to $12.25 -- putting its minimum wage workers on the same pay level as San Francisco's in March 2015.

For many minimum wage workers even outside these areas, the success of these measures is a big step in the right direction.

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