DFL finally comes together on minimum wage hike

-- 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

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Mark Dayton doesn't take credit for Minnesota's $1.2 billion surplus... sort of

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This morning, the Minnesota Management and Budget office announced the state is projected to have a budget surplus of $1.23 billion in the current biennium and $2.6 billion in the next.

SEE ALSO: The Zygi Wilf/Mark Dayton photo people can't get enough of: Top 10 tweets

Hours later, Gov. Mark Dayton released a statement sharing his thoughts about the good news. And believe it or not, despite the dramatic turn in the state's economic fortunes since he first took office in early 2011 -- for instance, in February of that year, the budget forecast projected a $5 billion deficit for the fiscal year 2012-13 biennium -- Dayton doesn't take all the credit on behalf of himself and the DFL-controlled legislature.

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MNGOP Sen. Hann says he's not convinced income equality is such a bad thing

During a Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy hearing about income equality on Wednesday, Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, argued that achieving greater income equality by increasing taxes on the rich wouldn't make Minnesota a better place.

SEE ALSO: MNGOP Sen. David Hann says there wasn't enough talk about gay marriage bill

That's pretty standard Republican fare, but the ineloquent way he made his case came across as slightly callous and had Hann attempting to clarify himself after the Huffington Post picked up his comments in a report unflatteringly entitled, "GOP Lawmaker Not Convinced Income Inequality Is A 'Bad Thing.'"

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Minnesota is "biggest gainer" in Forbes' annual "Best States for Business" ranking

Categories: Economy, Lists
Image by Tatiana Craine
There's been no shortage of good news about Minnesota's economy so far this year.
Minnesota is the eighth best state for business, according to the 2013 version of Forbes' annual ranking. That's up from 20th last year and represents the biggest jump of any state.

SEE ALSO: What economic recovery? Mpls donut shop hiring... an unpaid intern

Forbes writes that Minnesota's jump comes "on the strength of an improved economic outlook."

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Minnesota now has as many jobs as before the recession, but that doesn't tell the whole story

Image by Tatiana Craine
The latest numbers from the state indicate that Minnesota has finally recovered all the jobs lost during the recession that began in early 2008.

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

At the end of August, there were nearly 2.8 million jobs in Minnesota, which is the highest number since February 2008.

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Twin Cities has lowest unemployment of any major U.S. metro

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Susan Lesch vis Wikimedia
Jobs here!
A slew of recent lists has named us snobby and brainy, bike-friendly and outdoorsy. But here's a ranking that carries a little more weight, and comes backed by harder data: The Twin Cities has the lowest unemployment of any major U.S. metro area, according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Minnesota's economy one of the fastest growing in the nation

Categories: Economy
Image by Tatiana Craine
Minnesota's economy: So hot right now.
The economic news out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes so this year has been remarkably good. For instance, we gained more jobs in a recent six-month stretch than any half-year since Reagan's heydey, our personal incomes increased more last year than just about all other states, and Minnesota's median income is among the highest in the country.

MEANWHILE: Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state in 2011 and '12

And now comes news that Minnesota's economy grew at one of the fastest paces in all of America last year.

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Twin Cities' median income among highest in nation

Categories: Economy
Image by Tatiana Craine
The Twin Cities had a higher median income in 2011 than New York, L.A., or Chicago.
According to the most recent government data, the median income in the Twin Cities is among the nation's highest, unadjusted for cost of living.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota will be one of the states least affected by sequestration, but it's still going to suck

The median income ranking, put together by Minnesota Compass, comes on the heels of other studies showing that Minnesota has a historically hot job market and was among America's leaders is personal income growth last year. In sum, Minnesota's economy -- in the Twin Cities particularly -- appears to be humming along quite nicely, though it's another question whether that sound is perceptible to job seekers.

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Gay marriage could boost Minnesota economy by $45 million, says report

Categories: Economy, GLBT
Wikimedia Commons
The Williams Institute, a think tank at UCLA's law school, is trying to quantify the impact of same-sex marriage in terms that everyone can understand: Money. According to the institute's latest study, a marriage equality law would give Minnesota's economy a lift to the tune of $45 million in the first three years.

See Also:
- Study says support for gay marriage in MN (43 percent) weaker than Iowa, SoDak, or Wisconsin
- Gay marriage bill passes House, Senate committees. What's next?
- Cover: When will gay marriage be legal in Minnesota?

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Minnesota personal incomes increased more in 2012 than just about all other states

Categories: Economy
Image by Tatiana Craine
Of course, the per capita income data doesn't account for the possibility of unequal growth between rich and poor Minnesotans.
Minnesotans are just hot, period. But recent data indicates our state is particularly hot in the areas of job creation and personal income.

SEE ALSO: Economic recovery? What economic recovery? Mpls donut shop hiring... an unpaid intern

According to the latest U.S. Department of Commerce data, per capita personal income in the state grew from $44,560 in 2011 to $46,227 last year. That 4.41 percent increase was the sixth highest in the nation, behind only NoDak (incomes there grew a whopping 12.38 percent!), Texas (4.85 percent), Utah (4.66 percent), Washington (4.51 percent), and Montana (4.48 percent).

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