Minnesota is part of a growing group of states and localities that aren't sitting around and waiting for the federal government to take the lead on pushing to increase the minimum wage and move it closer to a living wage. Recently, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which hasn't gone anywhere in Congress. But that isn't stopping states like Minnesota, which are stepping up and getting the job done when it comes to raising the minimum wage.
Both houses of the Minnesota legislature have passed bills to increase the state's minimum wage. The two bills are different, however, and they each need to approve an identical bill. The Minnesota AFL-CIO is calling on the state's residents to contact members of the state Senate to ask them to pass legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour.
Minnesota is part of a growing group of states and localities that aren't sitting around and waiting for the federal government to take the lead on pushing to increase the minimum wage and move it closer to a living wage. Successful attempts or ongoing campaigns to raise the wage exist in New York; San Jose, Calif.; Hawaii; Maine; New Jersey; California; Connecticut; Delaware; Maryland; Massachusetts; Missouri; New Mexico; Rhode Island; Milwaukee; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Bernalillo County, N.M. The New Mexico legislature voted to raise the wage, but Gov. Susana Martinez (R) vetoed it.
Working America has covered the Minnesota minimum wage push thoroughly:
The precarious situation faced by Minnesota low-wage workers got a big spotlight earlier this month when Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) took the Working America Minimum Wage Challenge, during which he lived on a budget of $7.50 an hour. “I want to let all my colleagues know that it’s darn near impossible to live on these wages,” Rep. Metsa said after his one-week experience, “I encourage them to vote for Representative Winkler’s bill.”