Minimum Wage Increase for Minnesota Becomes Law Monday

Updated: 04/14/2014 12:05 AM
Created: 04/13/2014 10:53 PM
By: Hannah Tran

(ABC 6 News) -- By the hour, the dollar will go up for the average Minnesota worker on minimum wage.

On Monday, Governor Dayton will sign a bill into law to eventually make Minnesota's minimum wage at $9.50 an hour. It will make the state go from one of the lowest rates in the nation to one of the highest.

 "The minimum wage is going to directly help over 350,000 Minnesotans," said DFL Representative Tina Liebling.

60 percent of those mentioned by Liebling are women, or around 200,000 of them.

"Many of those are parents should be making enough money to live on and raise their family without being in deep poverty," said Liebling.

But for many Republicans, like Representative Duane Quam, the minimum wage increase could destabilize businesses and jobs.

"However, when you're talking with a lot of the small businesses, they don't have large margins," he said.

Quam and fellow Republicans are concerned that some businesses will be unable to give long-time employees a raise, because that money has to go to the new bump in minimum wage.

"When the federal government raised the minimum wage, it means that they either have to decrease the hours or decrease the total number of people employed," said Quam.

President Obama gave his reaction to Minnesota's wage increase, saying, "I commend the state legislature for raising their minimum wage and we look forward to Governor Dayton signing the bill into law soon. I urge Congress to follow Minnesota's lead, raise the federal minimum wage, and lift wages for 28 million Americans."

Liebling says a burden will be lifted for many families, especially those run by single mothers.

"That woman who's working three jobs is now going to be able to maybe work two jobs," she said.

But Quam believes the raise will result in cutbacks with employment.

"If you have fewer jobs, it doesn't help anyone," said Quam.

A bigger paycheck, but different perspectives. The fact remains, Minnesota will soon have one of the highest minimum wage payments in the nation in a matter of years.

Minnesota will soon have one of the highest minimum wage rates in the country.