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State Representative Paul Thissen

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Posted: Apr 10 2014 3:03PM
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Press/News Releases

House passes bill to increase the minimum wage


St Paul, MN – Today, the House passed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016. The minimum wage will also be increased to inflation starting in 2018 to ensure the value of the minimum wage does not fall over time. The bill, which passed the Senate yesterday, now goes to the Governor to be signed into law.

“Today we are moving forward with a strong minimum wage that will help Minnesota workers, and in doing so, strengthen Minnesota’s economy,” said Speaker Paul Thissen. “While Minnesota’s economy is improving there are too many Minnesotans who work hard every day but cannot make enough to make ends meet. It’s time to raise the wage and make hard work pay in Minnesota – now and into the future.”

Over 357,000 workers will see a raise when the bill is fully implemented. Of those workers, 45 percent have some college education and 57 percent, or 200,000 are women.

The bill is expected to have significant impact on Minnesota families. Of the workers expected to receive a raise, 62,850 are parents. And 14,200 of those are the sole wage earner in their household.

“Minnesota’s economy continues to add jobs as it recovers from the recession,” said Rep. Ryan Winkler, the author of the bill in the House. “Unfortunately, a significant portion of those jobs offer part time hours, poor working conditions, and low wages. Those low wages force families to rely on public assistance while highly profitable corporations reap the benefits. Raising the minimum wage will increase the spending power of hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans and inject hundreds of millions of dollars into our state's economy. It will improve our economy and make our economy better reflect our values.”

Details of the bill include:

•         $9.50 minimum wage for businesses with gross sales over $500,000 in 2016. $8.00 in August 2014, $9.00 in August 2015.

•         $7.75 minimum wage for businesses under $500,000 in gross sales in 2016. $6.50 in August 2014, $7.25 in August 2015.

•         The $7.75 minimum wage rate would also apply for large businesses in the following circumstances: 90 day training wage for 18 and 19 year olds, all 16 and 17 year olds and employees working under a J1 visa.

•         Beginning in 2018, all wages would increase each year on January 1st by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator capped at 2.5%.

•         The indexed increase could be suspended for one year by the Commissioner of DOLI if leading economic indicators indicate the possibility of a substantial downturn in the economy. The suspension could only be implemented after a public hearing and public comment period. In better economic times, the suspended inflationary increase or a lesser amount could be added back into the minimum wage rate in a subsequent year.

The bill now goes to the governor to be signed into law.

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