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Washington D.C. mayor vetoes controversial minimum wage bill

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray (C) departs a news conference with Amtrak officials and real estate developers to announce a a $7 billion expa
Washington Mayor Vincent Gray (C) departs a news conference with Amtrak officials and real estate developers to announce a a $7 billion expa

(Reuters) - Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray on Thursday vetoed a controversial minimum wage bill that could have discouraged Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer, from opening stores in the U.S. capital.

The bill, approved by the City Council two months ago, would require big retailers to pay a 50 percent premium on the local minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, with backers saying that Wal-Mart and others can easily afford it to get into the District of Columbia's fast-growing market.

Major U.S. retailers, also including Target Corp and Home Depot Inc, had opposed the bill.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Scott Malone)

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