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15 cents

Missouri's minimum wage will rise by 15 cents next year to $7.85 an hour, state officials announced Monday.

The increase, as predicted in this space three months ago, is based on inflation between July 2016 and July 2017. It's the biggest raise for the state's minimum-wage workers  since a similar 15-cent increase in 2015. 

Missouri's minimum wage didn't change last year and rose by a nickel this year. Under terms of a minimum-wage initiative passed by Missouri voters in 2006, the state's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations calculates an inflation adjustment annually.

A group called Raise Up Missouri is pursuing a petition drive to get a bigger minimum-wage increase on the ballot next year. The group's proposal would move the wage floor to $8.60 an hour in 2019, then raise it in 85-cent increments until it hits $12 in 2023.

The federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 an hour, but Missouri is among 29 states that have set higher minimums.

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