President, Lawmakers Call For Minimum Wage Increase

Created: 01/28/2014 10:59 PM
By: John Doetkott

(ABC 6 News) -- During Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, President Obama said he will issue an executive order to raise wages for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour, and called on congress to raise the federal minimum wage.

There are roughly 83,000 Minnesotans who currently work at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, and while not all of those workers would fall under the federal minimum wage because the companies they work for are too small, Minnesota lawmakers will push again this year to raise the state wage so that everyone would receive a boost.

According to the Minnesota Department of Labor, the state's minimum wage has actually fallen nearly 30 percent since 1974 when inflation is taken into account. 

Iowa senator Tom Harkin (D) wrote the bill to increase the federal wage, saying it's necessary to help families struggling to make ends meet.

“This increase will make a real difference in the lives of working Americans and will boost the economy by putting more money in the pockets of these families,” Sen. Harkin said.

Under Sen. Harkin's bill, the minimum wage would be indexed to match inflation to try and avoid the need for such a dramatic increase in the future.