Local business reacts to Gov. Dayton's signing of minimum wage bill

By KBJR News 1

April 14, 2014 Updated Apr 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)--- Governor Dayton signed a minimum wage increase into law Monday...meaning Minnesota's lowest wage workers could see a pay bump as soon as August.

For local businesses, like the Duluth Grill, it's a welcome change.

"I can't say I'd be the first one in line leading the charge for it, but people have to be paid well. I know for us, I have employees that own homes, they run households, they have families, and that's the employee that I want in my business," said Duluth Grill co-owner, Tom Hanson.

Hanson says the majority of his staff at Duluth Grill are paid higher, but at least sixty are employed at the minimum wage.

"One side we have to look at it impacting us, is it's our opportunity to create a more professional and accountable employee," said Hanson.

Whitney Lefebvre has been a server at the grill for eight years. She says the hike to $9.50 an hour will help with her with house payments and buying simple necessities.

"You come to work and you just hope that it's busy and you hope that make good money, but you don't always know, I guess. It will be nice to have a little bit more security," said Lefebvre.

But not everyone agrees with the increase. Senate Minority Leader David Hann says the bill was not thoughtfully crafted, and did not have broad support.

"This is one of a number of bills where we've seen both Republicans and Democrats oppose it and the Coalition that supported this bill does not include any of the Chamber of Commerce folks, or the retailers or the Grocers," said Sen. David Hann.

This August, low wage workers will see a bump from $6 dollars 15 cents an hour to $8 dollars an hour.

Next year it will go to $9.00 an hour, then $9.50 an hour in August 2016.
In Duluth Raeanna Marnati KBJR 6 and Range 11.

Beginning in 2018, all wages will automatically increase each year in January for an automatic inflationary increase.

Senator David Thompson, vying for Governor Dayton's seat this fall, says he will work to repeal that increase if elected.

Written and posted to the web by Raeanna Marnati