House passes 50-plus percent increase in minimum wage
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 May 3, 2013
Up to 350,000 workers would see their paychecks get much fatter under a hefty minimum wage hike the Minnesota House approved on Friday.
On a 68-62 vote, the House decided the state’s wage floor should hurdle from the current $6.15 an hour more than 50 percent, all the way to $9.50 by 2015.
“The more people who are making more money the better,” said DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler, the Golden Valley sponsor of the wage hike.“These are people... working for a living in an economy that increasingly favors the people at the top and leaves very little for everyone else.”
The vote makes good on a key DFL promise to help lower paid workers do better. But it also touches off both Republican and some Democratic doubts about businesses ability to handle such a steep climb in pay requirements.
“I understand the impact that this potentially can have on, you know, small hardware stores and little mom-and-pop cafes, family owned businesses that might have a few employees,” said Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook.
“I think $9.50 is too much...I’m kind of concerned about overreaching on this.”
Bakk said the Senate would vote on their version of a minimum wage bill, which would raise the minimum wage to $7.75 an hour, on Wednesday. Gov. Mark Dayton has said he would welcome a measure to lift the minimum wage to a level between $9 an hour to $9.50.
In the coming weeks, leaders of the House, Senate and the governor will likely compromise on a wage increase for the lowest paid that will become law.
#2 May 5, 2013
How can Republicans seriously expect ANYONE to work for $6.15 per hour and not require government assistance?
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