Bill that would raise minimum wage 70 percent to $10.55 an hour advances in House

ryan winkler rect.jpg
"You need to have people who can support themselves and buy things," Winkler said.
Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, thinks it's about time low-paid Minnesota workers get a raise -- and a big one, at that.

SEE ALSO: Mary Franson thinks City Pages blogger should blame his rent increase on Gov. Dayton

Winkler's bill to raise the state's minimum wage from $6.15 for large employers and $5.25 for small employers all the way up to $10.55 passed its first hurdle last week when it was approved in an 8-6 party-line vote by the Labor, Workplace and Regulated Industries Committee. The legislation now advances to the Jobs and Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee. Senate bills that would raise the minimum wage more modestly haven't yet had hearings.

The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services details Winkler's bill:
[It] would raise the minimum wage incrementally up to $9 an hour by Aug. 1, 2015, for small businesses and up to $10.55 per hour for large employers. Small and large employers are defined as those whose volume of sales or business is above or below $625,000...

The bill also would prohibit an employer from displacing an employee through a reduction in hours, wages or benefits in order to hire an employee at the new minimum wage...

Beginning in 2016, the minimum wage would automatically be adjusted based on the rate of inflation, a provision opposed by Republicans.
More information comes via the Pioneer Press:
The change in statute would amount to an increase in the minimum wage over three years of about 70 percent...

A minimum wage of $10.55 per hour at large firms would match the inflation-adjusted minimum wage that was in place, Winkler said, during the late 1960s and early 1970s.
As you'd imagine, Winkler emphasizes the impact his bill will have in stimulating demand, while Republicans are primarily concerned about the possibility a higher minimum wage could stifle job creation on the supply side.

In an MPR report, here's what Winkler has to say on behalf of his legislation:
You need to have a strong middle class. You need to have people who work that are able to support themselves and buy things. The economic driver is not just one. It's not just the other. But for too long our policy has focused solely on businesses and the supply side of economics. I think that's the great testament to Ronald Reagan. He made us forget all about the other half of the economy, and we need to start turning that around.
On the other side of the aisle, in an AP report, Rep. Mark Uglem, R-Champlin, said: "We all want to have a vibrant economy, and if the producers of jobs... are not able to create jobs, it's not going to matter what the minimum wage is."

During his State of the Nation speech, President Obama implored Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour. Legislation introduced earlier this session by DFLers would raise the state minimum wage to $9.50, but that bill hasn't received a hearing.


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24 comments
Lisa
Lisa

How many businesses has Ryan Winkler run?

How many SUCCESSFUL businesses has Ryan Winkler managed?

Businesses today do naturally compete for workers at all levels - if your biz is only paying the very lowest legally allowed, that biz will surely suffer in it's quality of staff. But they might still be able to get the job done. Not every biz owner is the sharpest tool out there, may be making mistakes, may already be on a thin margin of success. Maybe they are just starting out. Maybe the economy suddenly crashes.... or your industry has an unforeseen catastrophe...

When your wages - soon to be coupled with new healthcare costs - are a stressor on the biz, you can easily sink. I am all for higher wages; I have personally paid my workers much more than I needed to, because I wanted them to share in my success, that was a risk i was willing to take, but then maybe they ought to also have shared in my failure, if there were any experienced....

Easy for Rep Winkler to state these kinds of inane things.. He and his wife are both lawyers!

Juan Conatz
Juan Conatz

If places can't afford to pay a decent wage that folks can live on, then they don't need to be in business. Good riddance.

Sammy L Cater
Sammy L Cater

well, though arica is wrong, cna"s only make minimum wage. its not just high school kids now a days. but yes you raise the minimum wage the price of living is going to go up :( ... people will be out of job or have hours cut due to employers inability to meet the hike. i would much rather make 7. an hour at 40 hours a week then 10 at 20 hours a week, plus the rise n cost of living ugh..

Michelle Glass
Michelle Glass

How about $20/hour? People could live a lot better on $20/hr than $10.55/hr.

Bill Hanisch
Bill Hanisch

Aricka Sundstrom I do pay great wages to my employees, and as to toys I would love for you to elaborate on them. I am just making a point of how stupid this would be because mainly the hospitality and restaurant business can't support those wages. The only employees that start at minimum Wage are high school kids with no job experience. So before you think that I don't treat my employees right and that I make tons of money I would consider doing some research.

Peter Farnsworth
Peter Farnsworth

If you have 20 full time employees that is an extra $137,280 per year... do you really think small businesses can afford that? Under definition a small business can hold up to 500 employees, that would be an extra $3,432,000 a year in expenses.... it would bankrupt companies and cause mass layoffs

Aricka Sundstrom
Aricka Sundstrom

Why are people so against others making enough money to live?

Aricka Sundstrom
Aricka Sundstrom

Bill Hanisch, I will make it a point to not shop at your bakery based on your hostility towards paying your employees a better wage. Maybe you should buy fewer toys with your profits? Personally I have never had a problem paying more when I know the employees are being paid a living wage.

Bill Hanisch
Bill Hanisch

I own a bakery, you raise my minimum wage , I raise prices to cover minimum wage......prices go up even more.... and minimum wage means JACK!!! And I look at trimming my staff......JACK!!!!! DUMB DA DUMB DA DUMB!!!!!! Hey how about some political figures take a pay decrease!!!!

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

Assist people in what should be temporary job? Minimum wage jobs are NOT A CAREER people!
Also, this is BAD for someone making $11-20 per hour, as raising the minimum wage will drive up their cost of living. (Especially food)

And watch as the 8 people working at McDonalds per shift becomes 6.  (I bet you $1,000 dollars that very thing happens.)
Vote buying scheme directed at the simple minded as a way of compensation for RAISING THEIR TAXES…  Ya, "TAX the Rich" turned into tax everyone. 

Peter Farnsworth
Peter Farnsworth

This would devastate small businesses and especially the restaurant/service industry...

JK01
JK01

A Bill meant to cause inflation and unemployment among the poor. A teenager in his first job is not worth $10 an hour, nor is the unskilled workers. This claim that is money put back into the economy when it is first taken from small business owners is dubious at best, and of course without any basis in fact or reality. If all we have to do to improve the economy and make a strong middle class, why are we only going to $10? Why not $100 per hour, then everyone wold be rich. Right?

Eric Kanzenbach
Eric Kanzenbach

Yeah, REALLY smart. Then the company will lose money, raise prices, and your extra money means nothing. Oh, and give everybody "free" health care too. What a joke.

Paul Walker
Paul Walker

More money in peoples pockets means more money put back into the economy.

Dee Finkelson
Dee Finkelson

its good to me, as long as suddenly they start firing ppl or close the door hiding behind 'we cant afford the high labor cost'. Rathet have business move on than no business at all. That's me. Dunno with others.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@Paul Walker

Are you serious?You haven’t had much in the way of economic schooling have you.

CinBlueland
CinBlueland topcommenter

@Paul Walker Here here! It should also be included in the bill that nobody can be fired, and those that leave have to be replaced within the month.  Oh and price controls, prices cannot go up for a period of 3 years.

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