Minnesota has seen many victories for working families this year. On August 1, the minimum wage increase that Governor Dayton and Democratic legislators fought for in 2014 will be fully implemented, raising the wage to $9.50 an hour – one of the highest in the nation.
In May, paid sick leave passed in Minneapolis, allowing workers to better take care of themselves and their families. More recently, the Shakopee City Council voted unanimously to increase the minimum wage at subsidized businesses to $19 an hour. Now, Minneapolis is close to placing a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot.
While these things are a step in the right direction, all Minnesotans deserve access, instead of just those working in certain communities.
Earlier this spring, the Minnesota Senate passed a paid family and medical leave plan with the support of Governor Dayton, but conservatives in the House prevented it from becoming law. In fact, conservatives have also pushed for legislation in recent years to prevent local governments from circumventing legislative gridlock by implementing their own employment laws (also known as preemption).
While conservatives at the state level continue to block progress on things like paid family leave, communities are left with no choice but to implement these worker-friendly policies on their own.
However, all Minnesotans deserve an equal shot at opportunity, not just a few. And that’s why it’s important for progressives to continue the fight for statewide paid family leave, earned sick time, and increased opportunity, for everyone.