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Governor Schwarzenegger signed the bill yesterday that will institute two raises in the state minimum wage, which is currently $6.75. The first, on Jan. 1, will push the hourly rate to $7.50, and the second, in 2008, will bump it up to $8.

The wage raise comes soon after the release of two U.S. Census surveys documenting the percentage of people living in the nation’s metropolitan areas who are below the poverty line. The Census Bureau reported that 11 percent of people living in San Diego County fall under that poverty threshold, which varies according to number of adults and children per household but does not take into account cost-of-living differences across the country. In the city, 13.5 percent live under that threshold. Click here for my recent story about the potential effects of the increase in San Diego, and here for a discussion of the wage increase’s political ramifications.

KELLY BENNETT

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