California's minimum wage would rise from $8- to $10-an-hour within three years under a bill that is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for final approval, giving the state one of the highest statewide rates in the nation.
Washington state currently has the top minimum wage, at $9.19 an hour, an amount that is pegged to rise with inflation.
The state Senate and Assembly approved AB10 on Thursday. The votes in both houses were largely along party lines.
Brown has 30 days to sign the bill into law, and has indicated he would, calling it an overdue piece of legislation that would help working-class families.
If the bill is signed, it would mark the first time in six years that minimum-wage workers in California received a pay increase.
The bill would gradually raise California's minimum wage from the current $8 an hour to $10 by 2016.
Local news from across Southern California
Some Golden State cities are already paying minimum-wage workers in excess of $10, like San Francisco, where the minimum wage is $10.55.
The city of San Jose's minimum wage is already $10 an hour.
Still, other major cities, like Los Angeles, adhere to the state's hourly wage of $8.
Seven states have set their minimum wages higher than California, according to an interactive map created by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Minimum wage is $9.19 in Washington; $8.95 in Oregon; $8.60 in Vermont; and $8.25 in Nevada, Connecticut, Washington D.C., and Illinois.
Massachusetts is the only other U.S. state with an $8 per hour minimum wage.