At $9 per hour, Minnesota’s minimum wage will be highest in the Midwest


Now we’re rollin’ in it. Brian Bakst of the AP says, “Minnesota will vault past Illinois, Michigan and South Dakota this week to gain the highest minimum wage in the Midwestern region at $9 an hour, which also will rank among the most-generous state wage floors in the country. The dollar-per-hour bump taking effect Saturday for some 288,000 of Minnesota’s lowest-paid workers is the second of a three-stage increase adopted in 2014, when the state had one of the lowest minimum wages in the region. Next August, the wage will rise again to $9.50 and it will go up automatically with inflation in following years.” Clearly, it’s doomsday for job creators.

Have you worried about nitrous oxide? Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR reports, “Fertilizing crops in the U.S. Corn Belt emits a potent greenhouse gas, and a new University of Minnesota study shows officials have been underestimating those emissions by as much as 40 percent. The study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, looked at nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas about 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide and 12 times more potent than methane.”

Also from Ms. Dunbar:  “With its Target store and mix of single family homes, Argenta Hills looks like any typical suburban tract. But it’s anything but typical when it rains. Instead of traditional gutters and catch basins, the Inver Grove Heights development has cuts in the curb for stormwater to flow into rain gardens where plants soak it up. Part of the massive Target parking lot and some road intersections are porous, allowing water to seep into the ground. For bigger storms, low-lying basins collect the excess and prevent flooding. You won’t find another like it in Minnesota. It’s as if the whole area is one giant rain garden spanning more than 3,000 acres because when it rains, all the water stays on site. There are no underground pipes to carry it away to the Mississippi River.”

Today in someone’s precious Second Amendment rights: Dave Chanen of the Strib says, “For months, authorities say, a young woman calmly walked into a Robbinsdale gun store and legally bought guns big and small, including a Lady Lavender model Charter Arms .38-caliber revolver. She apparently didn’t keep them long. Investigators say she quickly — sometimes immediately — turned the weapons over to Fausi Mohamed, a member of the well-known Somali Outlaws gang, and some were used in a violent crime spree across the Twin Cities this summer.”

Not related, I don’t believe. MPR says, “The discovery of two suspicious packages shut down an area near the State Capitol in St. Paul on Monday until officials determined that the packages contained nothing hazardous. The State Capitol is closed to the public for renovations. The St. Paul Fire Department examined and tested the packages. One contained brick mortar and the other contained paper products, officials said.” Sounds suspicious to me.

This wouldn’t happen if he played with the Okee Dokee guys. Stribber Paul Walsh:  “The in-and-out-of-trouble frontman for the rock band Puddle of Mudd fled capture at roughly 100 miles per hour while extremely drunk on a rural highway in southern Minnesota before he pulled over, authorities said Monday. Wes Scantlin, 43, appeared Monday in Renville County District Court on charges of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, a felony, and two counts of drunken driving. He was released after posting bail. Scantlin was caught about 4 a.m. Sunday by a sheriff’s sergeant on Hwy. 212 between Bird Island and Hector, and a preliminary breath test at the scene measured his blood alcohol content at 0.31 percent, according to the charges.”

The floundering continues. In the PiPress, Christopher Magan says, “Parents will have to wait a little longer to see how their children stacked up against the rest of the Minnesota on this year’s student achievement tests. The state Department of Education said Monday that it was delaying until Thursday the release of results of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, or MCAs, because its ‘data comparison and validation’ was taking longer than expected.” Next time, how about just “yes” and “no”?

He decided against the Jumbotron idea. Emily Buss of the Forum News Service says, “The art of the marriage proposal often involves sweeping a person’s betrothed off their feet, not having them pulled over by police. But a Cottage Grove man enlisted the help of local law enforcement to profess his love for his longtime girlfriend — a prank-turned-proposal that now has Matthew Pitoscia and Katie Borner planning their wedding.”

Does “Mud” trump “Calhoun”? Or “Sibley”? Stribber Jennifer Brooks writes, “At any given moment, someone, somewhere in Minnesota, is trying to rename a lake, island or some other geographical feature. The biggest battle right now centers on Minneapolis, where residents have argued for years that an antebellum slaveholder and segregationist might not the best namesake for a public landmark like Lake Calhoun. It takes 15 signatures on a petition to kick-start the lake renaming process. One online petition to rename Calhoun has almost 5,000 names on it. The gatekeeper for all those name changes is state climatologist Pete Boulay. ‘Mud Lake gets no love,’ Boulay said in mock sympathy for the state’s most common lake name — and most common renaming target.”

Dog lovers, grab your pitchforks. In City Pages, Cory Zurowski reports on an “animal rescue founder” who was no friend to our best friends. “Losing lottery tickets, chicken wire, and an unheeded NO TRESPASSING sign adorn the front yard of Amanda Louise Przynski’s Nicollet Avenue fourplex. This is what the front of a reported canine house of horrors looks like. … Trash was strewn everywhere. An ornery Great Dane lived in the attic. Two female mixed breeds occupied the apartment. A four-year-old bulldog named Flora was discovered in the basement. According to court records, Flora was in the roughest shape. The pup’s ribs showed. Excrement clung to her emaciated frame, including her recent spay scar. Flora was so hungry she had been reduced to eating her own poop.”

Walker Watch. Question: What’s the worst thing you could accuse Donald Trump of doing … if you were Scott Walker? At Bloomberg, John McCormick writes, “Walker pushed back against attacks leveled at him in recent days by Donald Trump, saying the billionaire is using Democratic attacks to try to throw him off stride in the Republican presidential nomination race. … On Monday, Trump took to Twitter to further criticize Walker, saying that people would not vote for him once they learned how much a ‘mess’ the state is in. Wisconsin ranked 33rd among U.S. states in economic health improvement during Walker’s first term, from the fourth quarter of 2010 through the same period in 2014, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States. The state added a little more than half of the 250,000 private-sector jobs that Walker promised during that time, according to estimates released May 21 by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.” Therefore … presidential timber.                   

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Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/28/2015 - 08:18 am.

    “Clearly, it’s doomsday for job creators”

    No, it’s doomsday for kids looking to land that first job, as there will be fewer of them now. The government apparently is able to dictate what employers will pay but they can’t dictate whether or not they hire anybody.

  2. Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 07/28/2015 - 09:13 am.

    Just keep in mind

    while we go forward here that minimum wage increases have never been proven to impact employment numbers. In most cases you find that employers are able to absorb these costs just fine, or prices rise a modicum amount. Either way, no doomsday for anyone I can see.

  3. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 07/28/2015 - 09:17 am.

    This will be case of

    listening to the GOP moan about the $9/hr. minimum wage and how it will stifle job creation and CEO’s will be financially stressed, now assume the exact opposite. You will be right more often than you will be wrong. Remember, every 15 minutes the sky is falling somewhere in the GOP. For years the CEO’s enjoyed the Bush tax cuts that were supposed to cause “job creation”, but didn’t. Why didn’t it happen? Because it is demand that creates jobs. If you increase demand, you will have to hire more employees. If you don’t have the demand, it’s not because of the minimum wage. Another example of GOP foolishness. Stopping smoking in restaurants was going to “KILL THE INDUSTRY”. I’ll be darned if people didn’t still have to eat and in greater numbers. The GOP loves to moan about just part of the business picture rather than look at the whole picture. Minnesota’s business climate is the “BEST IN THE NATION”. For sure it is not the best because of the GOP’s business philosophy. The GOP is having trouble running their own party finances. How the heck do they expect to run a state and country? Oh, that’s right, we have already been there, done that, and it was a total disaster. Business acumen is not the GOP’s strength. The GOP circus continues.

  4. Submitted by ALAN BELISLE on 07/28/2015 - 09:35 am.

    Rename Calhoun

    On a weekday afternoon, about 5:00, drive in from the East through the area where Excelsior Blvd, Hwy 7, and Lake Street come together. Now imagine that same area with an LRT train stopping everything every 10 minutes or so. New name for the nearby lake? Lake Gridlock.

  5. Submitted by richard owens on 07/28/2015 - 09:48 am.

    FACTS for Dennis.

    Labor Standards — Minnesota’s minimum-wage law

    New minimum-wage rates go into effect Aug. 1, 2015. Updated poster is available here.

    Large employer wage $9.00/hour on Aug. 1, 2015
    $9.50/hour on Aug. 1, 2016

    Small employer wage $7.25/hour on Aug. 1, 2015
    $7.75/hour on Aug. 1, 2016

    90-day training wage $7.25/hour on Aug. 1, 2015
    (under 20 years of age) $7.75/hour on Aug. 1, 2016

    Youth wage $7.25/hour on Aug. 1, 2015
    (under 18 years of age) $7.75/hour on Aug. 1, 2016

    Inflation increase Inflation indexing begins Jan. 1, 2018

    Tightwad or crooked employers can contract others to provide labor. Paying in cash and through a myriad of other exploitative tools, the profiteers can circumvent the law and keep the working poor right where Republicans seem to want them.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 07/28/2015 - 12:19 pm.

      IRS Form 1099

      Don’t forget about the independent contractor scam. It’s been driving down wages for ears now.

  6. Submitted by Daniel Shaw on 07/28/2015 - 01:00 pm.


    Can’t decide if the nitrous oxide story is good or bad news. If farmers can find a way people can hover over their fields and inhale deeply, they’d have it made. Then again maybe I need a good laugh more than most these days.

  7. Submitted by Tom Clarke on 07/28/2015 - 01:05 pm.

    re Lake Gridlock

    Its probably a good thing that Excelsior Blvd, Lake St, and Highway 7 do not cross AT GRADE the route of the proposed Southwest LRT line.

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