After Weeks of Gridlock, Minnesota Senate Advances Bill to Raise the Minimum Wage

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In a 35-31 vote today, the Minnesota Senate  passed a bill to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour,  and index future increases to inflation.

Last spring, the legislature adjourned without finishing the business of raising the minimum wage. Over the past year, we have challenged politicians, called, sent emails and postcards, and rallied at the Capitol. We worked closely with an amazing Raise the Wage Coalition, which brought together labor, faith, and community groups. Finally Minnesota legislators have acted: the state will gradually raise the state minimum wage over the next three years.

The legislature was gridlocked over whether or not the bill should include indexing for weeks, but  on Monday they finally agreed on a deal to index the wage to inflation, with a 2.5 percent cap.

The first raise could give workers a raise of up to $8.00 an hour on their paychecks, beginning in August.

At $6.15 an hour, Minnesota has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country, one of a handful of states that’s below the federal minimum of $7.25. But if House passes the bill tomorrow and Governor Mark Dayton (D) signs it into law (as he has said he will), Minnesota will have one of the nation’s highest state minimum wages. By August, workers will see an increase of either $7.75 or $8.00 an hour, depending on the size of their employer.

We’re not done yet. Text RAISEMN to 30644 to get in touch with your State Representative immediately: tell them to get this done.