For more information contact: House GOP Communications 651-296-5522
As I write this update, the House just passed an increase in the minimum wage. This bill hikes the minimum wage from $6.15 per hour to $9.50 per hour for large employers and to $8.50 for small employers. The increase will be phased in through three stages and the new minimum wage will be in place by August of 2015. While the idea may be well intentioned, it truly will hurt those it is intended to help the hardest. Economic studies show that every 10% increase in the minimum wage leads to a 1% to 3% decrease in employment opportunities for low-skill and young workers. In other words, this bill would mean a 3% to 9% drop in employment opportunities for people who already have trouble finding work or teens that need an entry-level job to build experience. While taxes are set to go up on our small business owners, adding new mandates and regulations will only make a precarious economic situation more difficult for them. I voted no on imposing an increase in the minimum wage.
Last night (Thursday, May 2), the House Ways and Means Committee (often called the “Ways To Be Mean” Committee) passed the childcare unionization bill – House File 950 – and now is on its way to the House floor. The Senate Finance Committee is also set to take up the issue on Monday. Several weeks ago, I sent a letter to childcare providers in our district asking them for their thoughts on unionization. Not a single provider told me that they to be unionized. In fact, every provider who responded told me they do not want or need it. I stand with the providers in our community and adamantly oppose unionizing these hard-working small business owners. I will keep you updated as I hear more about when this bill might come up for a vote in the House.
I have one bit of good news to share. DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen recently announced that were will not be a vote on any gun control bills on the House floor this year! This is a victory for the grassroots activities who called, e-mailed, and came to the Capitol to lobby against imposing restrictions on our Second Amendment rights. As a Republican, it can be tough be in a legislator in St. Paul right now, but this was one piece of good news that proves that the voice of the grassroots still can be heard with one-party control. Good work, my friends!
If you have a moment, read this story about a funny prank one of my Republican colleagues played on me on the House floor. Even in tough times in the legislature, I’m glad we can still have a sense of humor
The deadline for adjournment at the legislature is May 20. I expect things will get busier as we vote on conference committee bills. You can still reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact me by phone, call (651) 296-4237. Mail can be sent to Rep. Nick Zerwas, 303 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155.
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Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.
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