DFL finally comes together on minimum wage hike

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-- Updates at bottom --

Last year, bills raising the minimum wage from $6.15 passed the House and Senate. But the House wanted to raise the floor significantly higher than the Senate ($9.50 to $7.75, respectively), and DFL leaders never came to an agreement.

DFL leaders announced today, however, that not only have they come together behind the $9.50 figure, but they also support indexing the minimum wage to inflation beginning in 2018.

See also:
Rep. Frank Hornstein talks about living on minimum wage for a week

"We are pleased to reach agreement on a strong minimum wage that will help Minnesota workers, and in doing so, strengthen Minnesota's economy," House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, says in a press release. "While Minnesota's economy is improving, there are too many Minnesotans who work hard every day but cannot make enough to make ends meet."

Those sentiments are echoed by Senate Majority Leader, D-Cook.

"Achieving a meaningful increase to Minnesota's minimum wage has been our priority from the start of session, and today's agreement puts us very close to passing $9.50 on to Governor Dayton," Bakk says in the release. "Lifting up our lowest paid workers is good for families, it's good for our communities and it's good for our economy."

The legislation supported by DFL leaders would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016 for "businesses with gross sales over $500,000" and $7.75 for smaller businesses. It includes exceptions for some teenage workers, but none for tipped workers.

We contacted Amos Briggs, communications director for the Senate's DFL caucus, and asked how many workers will be impacted by the proposed increase. He said he expects the wage hike to benefit more than just those making the minimum wage since "rising tides raise all boats." (He said he'd get back to us today with some data.)

Today's announcement of the newfound agreement among DFL leaders on the minimum wage issue comes days after a House committee voted to approve $77 million in funding for a controversial new Senate office building. Some political observers put two and two together and concluded House support for the building was a precondition for Senate support for the House's preferred minimum wage hike, but any connection between the two developments was denied by DFL leaders during a news conference this morning.

:::: UPDATE ::::

This afternoon, Governor Mark Dayton released a statement announcing he'll sign a minimum wage increase into law.

Here it is in its entirety:
"I congratulate the House and Senate leaders for reaching agreement on Minimum Wage legislation. I am very pleased that it will raise Minnesota's minimum wage to $9.50 per hour, and index it to inflation. I look forward to signing this legislation into law."

:::: UPDATE II ::::

Briggs, responding to our question about how many will be impacted by the minimum wage hike, referred us to numbers from pro-minimum wage hike group Raise the Wage MN.

The group estimates the $9.50 minimum wage will "mean better wages for nearly 357,000 Minnesotans" and "more economic security for 137,000 children whose parents are low-wage earners."

Raise the Wage MN estimates more money in workers' pockets will translate to $472 million in increased consumer spending as well.

But some worry higher labor costs for minimum wage workers will translate to less opportunity for workers.

"Unfortunately, this anti-business, anti-consumer legislation will actually hurt low-wage workers," MNGOP gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson wrote on Facebook. "You can't raise the price of something 50% and not expect some will quit buying it."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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90 comments
Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

There is no one answer, here are some observations:

To really be out of poverty, you probably have to earn $15 - $16 hr.  So raising the minimum wage to $10 isn't going to do a thing - except - the US Gubmint will collect more taxes, and A LOT more FICA and Medicare taxes.

By allow illegal aliens the US Gubmint has driven down wages for minimum wage type jobs.  Same way for all this immigration from third world countries.

Between exporting almost all the mfg jobs to China, and the current 6 year 'recession' there are not enough jobs, let alone 'good paying' jobs.   The jobs aren't out there - the US work force participation rate is the lowest since 1970.

For most there is no place to advance to.

There is also a symbiotic relationship between corporate America and the US Gubmint.  The 'big box' stores can get away with paying substrandard wages, and we the tax payers pick up the tab for their employees Medicaid, SNAP, etc.

Lastly, the higher wage, will make it more attractive for employers to automate jobs.  More self-serv check outs, more robots.   Remember gas station attendents?  Remember bank tellers?  Even though an ATM is expensive, once it's in place, it quickly pays for itself in saving tellers salaries, benefits, training, etc.

Matthew Delare
Matthew Delare

Collage cost has inflated 600 percent health care is very hight like 500!!!! Every day I'm smh!!! Who can expect to pay for either.. Health care will work out... think like this make pot legal. Money stops going to CARTELS .. PETTY LEAGUE EXPENSE It takes a few years to see '''''''JED'''''' CHANGE BTW DID IT HIT 10

Jodi Michelle
Jodi Michelle

Ever heard of the college conspiracy? Raised up to be poor.

Dean Chapman
Dean Chapman

MINIMUM WAGE JOBS ARE FOR TEENAGERS AND RETIRED PEOPLE!!!!! It is a stepping stone. Come on people, people make choices in their lives on what direction they are going to follow. OUR PROBLEM IS OUR GOVERNMENT! Until we take money it if POLITICS it will never change. They do not want to have a middle class. They cannot control the vote or the people. The government wants have us feeding out of their hand. The government wants two classes, Rich and Poor! Bring our good paying jobs back to the USA! We all cannot be pencil pushing office workers.

Steve Borchard
Steve Borchard

No more all day happy hour wednesday and sunday... :(

Chase Franzen
Chase Franzen

For what it's worth, I own a restaurant. We have just one - we're not a chain. I have 26 people on payroll. For 23 people, this is their only job. This is their ONLY source of income. Everyone working there makes at least $9.50/hr. My tipped employees, currently making $6.15/hr + tips (ALL of them making at LEAST $15/hr total) will get a pay raise to $9.50 plus tips. This will further grow the discrepancy between my front of house employees and back of house employees. This will increase my payroll by $5000/month - an increase I cannot afford. I could raise my prices to compensate, but the public will not pay it. I could try to stay open, but the kitchen workers would revolt (rightfully so). Right now I am responsible for 23 people's ONLY income. When this passes, 0 of those people will have a job. I wish this wasn't the case - but it is. There are not just winners in this equation. We aren't all "greedy bastards."

Joe Christian
Joe Christian

Either way, businesses will get less productivity for their money.

Joe Christian
Joe Christian

If you didn't do $10 worth of work then you don't deserve $10. Government force is only going to hurt businesses. If they're smart they'll fire employees that aren't productive enough to justify the higher wage and shift the extra burden onto employees who are worth the higher wage.

3D Greens of Minnesota
3D Greens of Minnesota

doing nothing? These guys are working hard for crappy wage while you are dreaming of being a slug and getting a 3 dollar raise... "for doing nothing"...look in the mirror. you're the lazy aXXXole you idiot.

Adam Stacy
Adam Stacy

Well, there is a complete devaluation of my union contract. Thank you liberals. Glad the Team stars keep getting you elected instead of ...... anyone else.

Kevin Jay
Kevin Jay

well are the DFLers going to adjust tax table now? what this is going to do is raise the price on some things. And, it will give the state government more tax money by raising some wage earners into higher tax brackets. That is something the DFLers will not tell you. so..more income..more tax dollars to spend.

Sandy Kelly
Sandy Kelly

This is so people will forget about the palace they are building themselves.

novenator
novenator

THANK YOU DFLers for getting this done. Minnesota has a long tradition of paying better wages and investing in the things that give everyone a shot at the American Dream. While $9.50 still isn’t a living wage, and is even below the $10.10 for federal employees (we should be higher than that), this is a good start to helping to curve the poverty that has been spreading in America since Reagan’s conservative economic Trickle Down hijacked our nation.


At a time when corporate profits are at record highs, 95% of income gains have gone exclusively to the rich, and worker productivity has skyrocketed, it’s about time this happened. If the MW had kept up with inflation, it would be almost $11/hour now. If it had kept pace with worker productivity, it would be between $18-$22/hour, and if it had kept up with CEO pay it would be nearly $30/hour. 


More information to debunk the coming fear-mongering by the Republican Party, who only represent big, greedy corporations:

Gallup: 76% Of Americans Support A Minimum Wage Increase

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/poll-3-4-americans-support-minimum-wage-increase


35 average age minimum wage workers, 1/3 over 40. http://www.epi.org/publication/wage-workers-older-88-percent-workers-benefit/


$10.10 Minimum Wage Would Increase Cost of $16 Walmart DVD by only ONE CENT

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-20/minimum-wage-debate-prompts-u-s-retailers-to-plot-strategies.html


If Walmart Paid its 1.4 Million U.S. Workers a Living Wage, 46 cents more per shopping trip, $12 extra dollars each year http://www.alternet.org/story/150685/if_walmart_paid_its_1.4_million_u.s._workers_a_living_wage%2C_it_would_result_in_almost_no_pain_for_the_average_customer


Bank Study Finds Minimum Wage Increase Does Not Kill Fast Food Jobs http://aattp.org/bank-study-finds-minimum-wage-increase-does-not-kill-fast-food-jobs/


Charts showing how our Minimum Wage has fallen behind http://billmoyers.com/2013/02/22/rethinking-our-minimum-wage/


DOUBLING the minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 would result in a Big Mac that costs 68 cents more http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2013/07/price-of-big-mac-could-rise-by-68-cents-if-minimum-wage-doubles/


Australia has a $16.88 Minimum Wage http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/19/the-u-s-has-a-7-25-minimum-wage-australias-is-16-88/


1 in 4 American workers take home less than $10 per hour http://www.mybudget360.com/low-wage-america-middle-class-incomes-and-employment-fields-income-growth-average-incomes/


$10.10 minimum wage would cut need for SNAP by $46b/10yrs (drop of 6%) 

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/report/2014/03/05/85158/the-effects-of-minimum-wages-on-snap-enrollments-and-expenditures/


Edward Brian Johnson
Edward Brian Johnson

I worked at a restaurant in the usbank bldg (corporate hellhole) but I digress; bankers would come down, sit thru a turn, talk about how we need to "stimulate the economy", and leave a rotten tip.

Ryan Hawkins
Ryan Hawkins

These folks can't get student loans like the rest of the world?! I am thousands of dollars in debt, live at home with my parents, drive rusty dented up car with 200k miles on it! You make it sound like I make 100k a year, live in a 10bed room house on the lake. I was able to get education and get a better job because I made the right choices. I pushed carts when I was in high school, scrubbed toilets, and had crappy jobs but that didn't stop me from making bad life choices and not going to school. It is called get off your butt and do something about your life if you aren't happy with it instead of waiting for someone to hand it to you. I never said any one was a loser. People who work minimum wage and have all the luxuries in the world is what makes me upset when the person that went to school, works hard, takes the opportunities, and can barely meet ends.

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

from the trillions that have instead gone to further feather the nests of the bastard class for the last 100 years. you had a good run.

Pinko Thinker
Pinko Thinker

but... how will I know if I'm crushing it unless I can take comfort in knowing that others are actively being crushed, while I livestream their misery? schadenfreude's a helluva drug.

Jennifer Caswell
Jennifer Caswell

Ryan: No incentive? Wow! I am sure you are right and these people want to do nothing more than clean toilets and flip burgers over a hot and greasy fryer and live in horrible apartments run by sleazy landlords. I can't think of why they would want anything better! Stop and think, please. How can one afford to get a higher education if one is making minimum wage? And, if you can't afford the education how can you get a better job? By the way, most people making minimum wage are working two or three jobs just to pay bills and make ends meet, so, when are they supposed to have time for school? I know plenty of people who are barely scraping a living and yet are good, honest and hardworking. I guess I would worry more about the exorbitant compensation packages and salaries by the few at the top. Now, if you want to talk about people who don't earn what they make. No one is doing anything in their daily life that is worth millions of dollars. It might be a good experience for you and others with similar prejudices to try working at a fast-food restaurant or other minimum wage job for one month and live off of only that money. I would hope you might come away from the experiment with a different view. Stop considering people with less than you as losers. Such arrogance . . . . I have been very blessed in my life but at least I acknowledge it. My ancestors worked in very bad conditions with no labor laws and little compensation to build a better future for their families. I would imagine your family has a similar story. Unless you are born into nobility or something. So, by mocking these folks you are mocking your ancestors, too. Well done. I am sure they are so proud of you.

laxx1559
laxx1559

We're the ones the pick up the slack from employers not paying their workers more, through WELFARE.  You've been bamboozled! Look at Walmart, we get low prices- but we pay for it through our taxes because they have such a hgh amount of workers on welfare

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

I'm a conservative, against raising the minimum wage, but I have an argument:

If you can't afford to raise prices, so the employees have a decent wage, what kind of job are you really providing for them?

There's no place for advancement.  So these folks work at your restaurant, and then qualify for MN Care, SNAP, etc.  In essence, we tax payers subsidize your restaurant.

Secondly, if your customers won't pay more for your product, it says a lot about your product. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

If you're a smart business man, you'll find a way. If you can't, you and your employees will find new jobs with someone who can. If you can't run a business and pay your employees a living wage, you really don't belong in business. 


Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@novenator Unfortunately, many of these people aren't even worth minimum wage.  Thanks to the Government Schools, many can't make change for a dollar, or compute a percentage, or think!

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

"...people who work for minimum wage and have all the luxuries in the world..." WTF are you talking about? 

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@MNjoe What business are you running?  Get a clue!  Where are his employees going to go MNJoe?   There aren't enough Jobs thanks to folks like you who Vote Obama and straight ticket DFL.   Why don't you LIB PROGS understand economics?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Nothing but the best responses from you. Letting you vote is killing the world.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@MNjoe Yeah, they're trapped on a 'hamster wheel' going nowhere.  Not doing them any favors.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@MNjoe Paid by Democrats not to work. 

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Money for nothing

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124  P.S. Hey, whiner - I just saw that the min. wage bill passed the House and is off to Gov. Dayton's desk for his signature - he WILL sign it into law. Haha - you lose again. All you can do is continue to whine like the child you are. I love the Minnesota DFL! 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124 @MNjoe  We obviously do understand economics. That's why the state is running a surplus under Dayton and a deficit under T-Paw. That's why the economy is gaining jobs every month under Obama and was losing jobs under Bush. Why do Republifucks think that invading, bombing, and then rebuilding foreign countries is good for America? You're a fucking idiot Kurt - crawl back under your rock.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@mingtran  No, my vote is for those who stand up for the working man. Haven't you realized yet that your Reaganomics trickle down is a fucking joke? 35 years later we're almost at 1929 rates of income disparity in this country. How long do you think we can sustain assholes like the Koch brothers and the Waltons and those like them raking in multibillions every year while people working full-time or 2 or 3 part-time jobs have to get assistance from the government to be able to eat and feed their kids? Corporations like McDonalds are raking in billions, paying their CEO and top execs like they've hit the fucking powerball every year. And tools like you are rooting against some hard-working people in this country getting a few extra bucks for their labor. You're just an angry old white fuck, aren't you?


http://www.aflcio.org/Corporate-Watch/CEO-Pay-and-You/100-Highest-Paid-CEOs

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Truth_Teller_1  It's funny that someone who relies on hearsay and anecdotal evidence to win an argument would complain about how poor everyone else's education is.   Idiot.  

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

@ChazDanger:  My proof is everyday living experiences.    Where to start... simple retail transaction.  Many don't make eye contact, rely on the register to compute change, don't count the change, just plunk it in your hand.   Then there are those who are on the phone while checking you out.

Or the one's who say "may I help you?"  and then know nothing.   Try an ask a simple question in a store like HD or Menards.  At HD they didn't know what a 'caster' was.

But they know about Miely Cyrus, or Kardashians, or tattoos.

There is a generation that have a high percentage of completely unaware people.   It's the parents, the society, the media, and the schools.

I got an idea - a store like HD where the customers help one another - and get a 5% discount for doing so.  They could eliminate all except for a check out clerk, and some front office staff.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kurt124 @MNjoe  Actually. I work 6 days a week, out the door by 6 am everyday. As usual, like most Republifucks, you have no idea what you're talking about and just make shit up.

a036618
a036618

@Throbbing.Pussy. @a036618  False.  And I know first hand because I've worked with the poor in this state as a human service worker.  I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but I GUARANTEE you that those that manipulate and exploit the system are NOT in the majority.  They unfortunately just ruin the public perception of the programs and the people who need them... often just for a short while.

Throbbing.Pussy.
Throbbing.Pussy.

@a036618


That may be true, but that majority of those on welfare in Minnesota are not working period. They just continue to breed like rabbits so they can STAY on the system. 

a036618
a036618

@Throbbing.Pussy. @laxx1559 Welfare dollars from tax dollars is 9% in Minnesota... unless you consider health care dollars welfare/subsidies and MA, and then it's 35% of your MN tax dollars.  Kind of a lot, actually.


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