Thousands of workers in Mississippi got a pay raise today. No, the state did not pass a new minimum wage law. Nor did Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, or Louisiana. Instead, Congress made good on one of their "first 100 hours" pledges, and the new federal minimum wage of $5.85 per hour goes into effect as of today.

This means that minimum wage workers in the five states with no minimum wage laws, all of them in the South, finally get a small increase of $28 per week after waiting nearly a decade.

Minimum wage workers in Kentucky and Virginia, where the state minimum wage is tied to the federal minimum, will also get a raise.

These workers will now make $234 per week, or $12,168 per year (before taxes and other deductions) if they work 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. The federal poverty level for a family of three is $17,170.

North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, and West Virginia had already done the right thing and raised their state minimum higher than the federal.

Minimum wage workers in Georgia who are covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act will also get a raise, but others are left behind.