Minnesota Mayors rally for higher minimum wage

By KBJR News 1

February 6, 2014 Updated Feb 6, 2014 at 6:49 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A group of Mayors from the Iron Range and the Twin cities rallied in St. Paul Thursday to urge the Minnesota legislature to raise the state's minimum wage.

The Mayors support raising the Minnesota's minimum wage to at least $9.50 an hour. They say the amount will keep pace with inflation. Right now, Minnesota's minimum wage is at $6.15 an hour, among the lowest in the nation.

The Mayors say increasing the wage will put more money in pockets and help expand the economy.

According to Think Tank Minesota 2020, A wage hike to $9.50 an hour in Duluth would impact anywhere between 8,000 and 9,000 low wage workers and fuel the economy with an extra $10 to $12 million dollars.

Hibbing mayor Rick Cannata believes it will also help main street businesses.

"You get a couple of dollar increase in your wage, you're going to go out and spend that because you're going to feel good and you're going to bring the economy back," Cannata said. "If anybody's been up on the Iron Range, a lot of the towns, the downtowns, a lot of the mom and pop stores are closed. The people that are at minimum wage now can't even go out and, you know, go to the mom and pop stores that the Iron Range has on the downtown," Mayor Cannata said.

Both the House and Senate took action on raising the minimum wage during the last session. Problem was the two houses couldn't compromise on a figure.

The DFL wanted $9.50 an hour. The GOP wanted $7.25 an hour.

The push for $9.50 an hour may also get support from some Minnesota Cities.

The Duluth city council is expected to pass a resolution Thursday night to call on the legislature to bump up the wage.

Duluth Mayor Don Ness tweeted Thursday in support of raising the minimum wage.

Written by Kevin Jacobsen
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