Twin Cities mayors join the ‘Raise the Minimum Wage’ effort

The Twin Cities mayors said Thursday that they’re part of an effort by mayors around the state urging the Legislature to raise the minimum wage.

During an event at the Capitol this morning, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges called for legislators to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. Current law requires a $6.15 hourly minimum wage for some workers, although most are covered under the federal standard of $7.25 an hour.

Many business groups oppose the increase.

Coleman and Hodges said both the St. Paul and Minneapolis city councils will consider resolutions urging legislative action.

The mayors said they represent other mayors around the state who also want to see wages increase for low-end earners.

Citing an analysis from Minnesota 2020, they said an estimated 30,000 workers in Minneapolis would see a raise with a $9.50 minimum wage, bringing nearly $40 million in additional purchasing power. In St. Paul, 20,000 workers would get a raise, representing an additional $27 million in purchasing power.

Said Hodges: “Minneapolis enjoyed a strong recovery from The Great Recession, but we know that many people were left behind. We have some of the largest gaps in the country between the haves and the have nots, and that includes a gap in wages. Our city, our state and our country need to do something to address the soaring inequity. Raising the minimum wage is crucial to ensuring that people who work for a living, can make a living.”

Coleman said: “We have an opportunity to act in the next few weeks here in Minnesota to provide relief for our low wage workers. We must ensure wages keep pace with the basic cost of food, housing and other necessities.”

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