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Mark Dayton doesn't want to raise minimum wage as much as bill advancing in House would

Dayton's preference would bring Minnesota in line with the federal minimum wage increase pushed by President Obama.
Dayton's preference would bring Minnesota in line with the federal minimum wage increase pushed by President Obama.

A bill advancing in the House would would raise the state's minimum wage from $6.15 for large employers and $5.25 for small employers all the way up to $10.55 and $9, respectively.

ANOTHER MINIMUM WAGE BILL: DFLers want to raise minimum wage 30 percent to $9.50

It sounds like that's a little ambitious for Gov. Mark Dayton, who went on the record yesterday and said he'd prefer to see the minimum wage raised to $9 or $9.50 an hour, a number similar to the $9 an hour federal minimum wage called for by President Obama during his State of the Union speech (currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25).

From MPR:

Dayton's [$9 or $9.50] preference falls below the DFL proposal advancing in the House, which would increase the minimum wage from $6.15 an hour to $10.55 by 2015. But it's higher than the $7.50 minimum wage increase that Senate DFL leaders introduced early in the session. There also are Senate bills at other levels, including $10.55. Dayton told reporters that he thought his preferred range was a "good target." He said he believes the minimum wage should be enough to allow someone working full time to support a family of four at the poverty level.

"Then with more experience and training, they can go up and achieve the American dream," Dayton said. "But we want work to pay, and if we're letting businesses hire people for less than they need to get out of poverty, then the rest of us as taxpayers end up paying all these other programs to support them."

Dayton also said he supports automatic inflationary increases to the minimum wage. That provision is in the House and Senate proposals.

With the worker-friendly DFL in control of both the House and Senate and multiple minimum wage-raising bills already being introduced this session, it looks like the first increase in eight years is a foregone conclusion. But the exact level of that raise remains to be sorted out.


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