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DFL infighting has minimum wage hike on life support

One-party rule doesn't amount to much if you can't agree among yourselves.
One-party rule doesn't amount to much if you can't agree among yourselves.
Bakk (left) and Thissen

A minimum-wage hike that once looked like a sure deal is no longer likely to happen this session because DFLers in the House and Senate can't agree on how much to raise it.

THE BACKSTORY: House, Senate approve minimum wage increase, but disagree on how much is too much

The bill passed by the House would've ultimately raised the rate to $9.50, while the Senate's would've more modestly pegged it at $7.75 per hour. But today, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said it appears that gulf will be unbridgeable.

The Star Tribune reports that a morning meeting between Mark Dayton, Bakk, and House Speaker Paul Thissen was unfruitful.

"It seems it's unlikely we are going to get a bill there," Bakk told reporters.

"The House is very dug in on a $9.00 rate, and the votes just are not there in the Senate to go that high," he continued, though he left the door open to the possibility that a conference committee could still iron out the difference before this session is in the history books.

Thissen characterized the situation as "totally unfortunate."

"We think very strongly that we need to get a good minimum wage that people can really live on," Thissen said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, gloated about the DFL gridlock on Twitter:

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


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