After months of negotiation, Minnesotans could see their minimum hourly wage go up now that a deal has been struck between the House and the Senate. A vote in both bodies is expected this week.
During a Monday press conference, House and Senate leadership laid out a new agreement that would increase the state’s hourly minimum wage to $9.50, phasing it in by 2016. It would also be indexed for inflation beginning in 2018. The state’s current minimum wage is $6.15 per hour, but most businesses use the federal $7.25 rate.
“This is a good day for hard-working Minnesotans and for a brighter economic future for our state,” said House Speaker Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls). “There are too many Minnesotans who work hard every day but cannot make enough to make ends meet. This is about making sure Minnesotans can earn a wage they can raise a family on. That’s what this bill is about. No one should work 40 hours a week and still live in poverty.”
If passed, the bill would give more than 350,000 Minnesotans a raise. To make the agreement possible, a 40-hour work week for overtime and 12-week unpaid sick leave provisions were removed.
“By raising the minimum wage to $9.50 and indexing it to inflation, we set a higher floor for all workers' wages, and ensure inflation does not erode those wages in the future,” Said Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley), who sponsors HF92 in the House
Lawmakers said the deal was not contingent on a plan to build a new $77 million legislative office building that would be used to house the Senate.
Details of the minimum wage agreement include: