Minnesota’s progressive leaders finalized plans to give more than 350,000 Minnesotans a raise this week. Legislative leaders agreed to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour and increase it with the cost of living.
This major piece of legislation is expected to pass by the end of the week, and the increases will come in steps. The first step goes into effect this August with a bump from $6.15 to $8 an hour – which means Minnesota will finally no longer be one of the four states with a minimum wage below the federal level – and enables a steady increase in workers’ wages until 2016.
The raise will impact 357,000 working Minnesotans, most of whom are women, and over 137,000 children who depend on their primary caregiver earning minimum wage. By keeping the minimum wage in check with the cost of living, workers will be spending locally, and will be better able to support themselves and their families.
This updated raise will help boost local consumer spending power by over $472 million while also demonstrating our state’s appreciation of hard work and commitment to progressive values. Our progressive leaders support raising the minimum wage, including Gov. Mark Dayton, who released a statement earlier today:
“I congratulate the House and Senate leaders for reaching agreement on Minimum Wage legislation. I am very pleased that it will raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 per hour, and index it to inflation. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”
The bill is expected to land on his desk by the end of the week.
This is an exciting time for Minnesota, as we move one step closer to ensuring that no one who works full time lives below the poverty line.