FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A state law dating back to the 1980s will increase the minimum pay of school bus drivers by $4 per hour by 2016, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

While a minimum wage increase will fulfill the requirements of a ballot measure Alaska voters passed in November, a state law passed in 1989 requires school bus drivers in Alaska to be paid at least twice the minimum wage, according to the newspaper. The statute requiring the increase was created with the passage of the Alaska School Bus Safety Act and was designed to recognize the expertise required to perform the duties of a public school bus driver.

The state’s minimum wage has been $7.75 per hour since 2009, making the minimum for school bus driver pay $15.50 per hour, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports. The recent ballot measure will increase the state’s minimum wage by $1 per hour on Feb. 24, 2015, and raise it by another dollar on Jan. 1, 2016, which will bring it to $9.75 per hour. The base pay rate for school bus drivers will increase by $2 per hour for each increase to the minimum wage, climbing to $19.50 per hour in 2016, according to the newspaper.

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