Increasing the minimum wage or not

Devin Martin
Updated: February 06, 2021 11:03 PM
Created: February 06, 2021 10:12 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Increasing the minimum wage has been talked about for a long time. Over the years, some are asking if minimum wage should be increase at the federal level or if states should mandate it.

On Saturday, President Joe Biden says it's unlikely a $15 federal minimum wage provision could make it to the next COVID-19 relief package. But Biden assures that his administration will push for a stand-alone bill to raise the minimum wage. 

But some people are concerned, "I do think we need to be very careful about impacting our very small businesses particularly in town who are struggling to come out of the pandemic,” Rochester Mayor Kim Norton said.

Here in Minnesota, minimum wage is $10.08 an hour for large employers and $8.21 an hour for other state minimum wages.

President Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier this week that the President wants to see a $15 minimum wage on the federal level,  "Well, the President feels strongly that we need to raise the minimum wage. And many economists agree with him and looks forward to working with Congress to do it. He thinks it's an important step for American workers and for American families. There's obviously a process that's ongoing - the reconciliation process that will make some determinations about what can and cannot be in the bill based on rules,” Psaki said.

But Mayor Norton says this really needs to be thought through, "In this community, many jobs are over $15 an hour so for most employers it's not that big of a deal, but it will affect some.  So my hope is as they move ahead with this discussion is that there is some thought given as I'm sure there will be to the timing of this,” Mayor Norton said.

Even though the future is uncertain, there's one thing the Mayor does not want to see, "I don't know what the solution will be but I do not want to see one more closure of a business in our city and I'm sure every Mayor feels that way across the county, we want our businesses to thrive,” Mayor Norton said.

But no matter if the $15 minimum wage is in this COVID-19 relief package, the President is moving forward, "I'm going to act and I'm going to act fast,” President Biden said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that the lower chamber aims to pass the fiscal relief package within two weeks.

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