As part of its Iraq War funding measure, Congress sent to President Bush a bill containing an increase in the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25. This increase, the first in ten years, will take effect in stages, with the minimum wage rising to $5.85 60 days after the President signs the bill into law. Two additional $.70 cent increases will occur annually thereafter, in 2008 and 2009. For North Carolina employers, the state minimum wage of $6.15 will exceed the federal minimum until at least the summer of 2008. Unless North Carolina again increases its minimum, the federal wage will again become the base rate for most employees in the State.