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On Wednesday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law increasing the state's minimum wage to $10 an hour, the highest in the country. The increase will be gradual until January 2016, when it will be fully in place.

According to Reuters, the law passed the state Senate by a vote of 26 to 11, and the Assembly 51-25. California's minimum wage rate has been $8 since 2008.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25.

"It's my goal and it's my moral responsibility to do what I can to make our society more harmonious, to make our social fabric tighter and closer and to work toward a solidarity that every day appears to become more distant," Brown said during a signing ceremony in Los Angeles.

There was some Republican opposition to the bill. Republican Brian Jones said the increase will make California unfriendly to business, and will hurt the middle class and the working poor.

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