ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A bill increasing Alaska's minimum wage and tying it to the Consumer Price Index was signed Monday by Gov. Tony Knowles.
''All workers deserve decent, livable wages,'' Knowles said as he signed House Bill 56. ''Raising the minimum wage not only benefits our workers, but also the long-term growth and stability of the state's economy.''
The new law is projected to directly affect more than 14,000 workers.
The bill raises the minimum wage to $7.15 and requires it to increase as inflation increases.
Without the bill, a similar measure would have been placed before voters. Supporters of a minimum wage initiative collected more than 50,000 signatures to place the measure on the November ballot. The effort was led by organized labor leaders.
Also on Monday, Knowles vetoed a related bill that would have allowed remote seafood processing plants to charge workers for room and board.
Docking the cost of room and board from a worker's pay has been banned since Alaska became a state and would have negated the minimum wage increase for workers in the processing plants.
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