A minimum wage hike to $10 an hour passed the California legislature on Sept. 12. Governor Jerry Brown promises to sign it, giving California the highest minimum wage in the country.

The increase would phase in steps by January 2016, with California's minimum wage rising from the current $8 an hour level to $9 per hour by next summer, and then to $10 in January.

Legislation passed earlier this summer in Washington D.C. to add $4.25 to its minimum wage, raising it  to $12.50 per hour, was vetoed last week by the Mayor Vincent Gray. Aimed at large non-unionized retailers, that bill was widely viewed as targeting an expansion by Wal-Mart, which planned to open six stores in the city.

Washington D.C.'s minimum wage legislation was the subject of a highly read editorial by Wood Products editor in chief Karen Koenig.