Minimum wage protestors. Photo: Pacific Press/Getty Images

A federally mandated minimum-wage increase seems like a long-shot with the GOP-held Senate, so a collection of states are stepping up to help spearhead the "Fight for $15" movement.

Why it matters: Years-long strikes and rallies across the country have paid off, and several states with Democratically-controlled legislatures and governorships have made it easier to institute such policies with the goal of lifting people out of poverty.

Driving the news:

  • Maryland's state legislators overrode Republican Governor Larry Hogan's veto of the minimum wage bill on Thursday. The policy is going to slowly raise the minimum wage from $10.10 to $15 by 2025, reports Vox.
  • New Jersey's Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law earlier this month gradually raising the minimum wage for most workers from $8.85 an hour to $15 by 2024. The state joins California, Massachusetts, New York and the District of Columbia in incrementally increasing the minimum wage to $15.
  • Illinois already fast-tracked its $15 minimum wage bill and will send it to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's desk on Tuesday.
  • Connecticut's party leadership has indicated they will send legislation to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont's desk this year.

What's next: Delaware, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Hawaii have also signaled that they will boost their hourly minimum wages later this year. On the national stage, Democrats in Congress introduced a bill on Jan. 16 to increase the federal minimum wage to $15.

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Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.

Facebook goes after Apple

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Facebook is seeking to force a face-off with Apple over its 30% in-app purchase commission fee, which Facebook suggests hurts small businesses struggling to get by during the pandemic.

The big picture: Facebook has never publicly gone after Apple, a key strategic partner, this aggressively. Both companies face antitrust scrutiny, which in Apple's case has centered on the very fee structure Facebook is now attacking.

1 hour ago - World

Exclusive: UAE wants Israel normalization finalized "as soon as possible," minister says

The UAE's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, told me in an exclusive interview that his country wants to implement its normalization deal with Israel “as soon as possible."

What he's saying: Gargash said he was confident that the U.S.-brokered deal moved Israeli annexation of the West Bank off the table for a “long time.” He also said Israeli tourists would soon be able to travel to the UAE.