Update: Gov. Dayton signed the minimum wage increase into law.
On Thursday, the Minnesota legislature passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage for hundreds of thousands of workers to $9.50 per hour by 2016. Under the law, which supporters expect Gov. Mark Dayton (D) to sign, businesses with gross sales of $500,000 or higher are required to raise their minimum wage to $8 per hour in August, $9 a year later and $9.50 by August 2016. Many smaller employers will be allowed to pay a lower rate, one that will reach $7.75 by 2016. Workers under 18 and 19- to 20-year-olds who're training still can be paid $7.25 per hour. From 2018 forward, the state's wage will be indexed to inflation.
Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson said, via press release:
It’s a great week for all Minnesotans, but especially the 357,000 working Minnesotans who make less than $9.50 per hour....
The Minnesota AFL-CIO and our affiliated unions are proud to be counted among the more than 70 diverse community, faith, labor, non-profit and service-based organizations that make up the Raise the Wage Coalition. While the vast majority of Minnesota’s union workforce makes well above the minimum wage, the labor movement is committed to improving the lives of all working people.