Democrats want to elevate minimum wage in January

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Lawmakers appear poised to raise the minimum wage for the first time since 1997.

Democrats, who won control of the House and Senate in elections earlier this month, said they want to make raising the wage a top priority in the new session, which begins in January. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will be speaker of the House, said Democrats will move to increase the raise in the first 100 hours of the new session.

The federal minimum wage has been $5.15 an hour since 1997. The government will set a record next month for the longest period of federal inaction on the minimum wage. Twenty-eight states, including Illinois, have approved a minimum wage higher than the national level.