Democrats in the Virginia Senate want to increase the minimum wage by 2 dollars an hour.
The upper chamber voted 20-20 Tuesday, with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam casting the deciding vote, to set the state's minimum wage at $8.25 this year, and $9.25 in 2015.
The current wage is $7.25 an hour.
Tuesday was the last day for the Senate to approve its own bills, and the minimum wage increase was one of the last orders of business.
During a lengthy debate on the bill, Republicans said a minimum wage hike would hurt the low-income workers the bill was designed to help.
But Democratic supporters of the measure said creating higher wages for lower earners was a "moral'' issue.
The measure will likely find little support in the GOP-controlled House.
Copyright AP - Associated Press