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At least five more states, including Maryland and South Dakota, and several cities are expected to take up the issue next year. Though states in the past have approved increases in the minimum wage, this year's developments provide a higher floor for wages next year in at least 21 states, a record number.
The burst of activity, which has alarmed business groups, reflects a growing concern over stagnant wages, lost purchasing power and the widening gap between the richest Americans and everyone else "” a gap that is now at its widest since the Great Recession.
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