Duluth City Council backs minimum wage increase

The Duluth City Council passed a resolution Monday night urging the Legislature to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour.

Many mayors from cities around the state, including Duluth, St. Paul and Minneapolis, are also supporting legislative efforts to raise the wage. The Minneapolis and St. Paul city councils are considering similar resolutions.

The current state minimum wage is now $5.25 to $6.15 per hour, but many large companies pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

The vote in Duluth was 8-1; council member Jay Fosle voted no, says the Duluth News Tribune. “My concern is that this could backfire and cause more poverty,” he said. He also worried that the change could lead to inflation.

Councilor Sharla Gardner, the resolution co-author, said she doesn’t believe an increase will hurt small businesses, as some predict.

“If you look at what happened in Washington state [where the minimum wage is now $9.32], you’ll find that none of the fears people had about raising the minimum wage came to fruition,” she  said.

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