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May 15, 2013
Two weeks ago, the Minnesota House voted to raise the minimum wage to $8.00 this year, $9.00 next year and $9.50 in 2015 (House File 92 – Winkler). Last week, the Minnesota Senate voted to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 this year, $7.50 next year and $7.75 in 2015 (Senate File 3 – Eaton). This week, six members of the House and Senate will meet to conference the bill and determine Minnesota’s minimum wage. After the two bodies’ bills are reconciled and merged into one bill, the Conference Committee Report will go back to the House and Senate floors for a vote.
Please call or e-mail Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and the six conferees today and ask them to support the House’s $9.50 minimum wage. After you talk with the Majority Leader Bakk and the conferees, please call or e-mail your Senator and explain why a $9.50 minimum wage is important to children and their families, and our community!
CDF-MN believes that a $9.50 minimum wage will improve the health and well-being of Minnesota children. Children from families with sufficient financial resources are far more likely than children from economically disadvantaged families to start kindergarten ready to succeed, and to flourish in school and later in life. In fact, findings from a 2011 study examining the effects of family income on school readiness suggest that an additional $1,000 of average annual family income throughout early childhood will result in higher reading and math scores for children in low-income families.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a $9.80 minimum wage would impact 284,000 Minnesota children. While this number is higher than the House’s proposal, it gives a good indication of the number of children who will benefit under a $9.50 minimum wage.
A minimum wage increase would more accurately reflect the true cost of living for families and better allow families to meet basic needs while moving families toward economic security. It costs a family of three (one adult and two children) approximately $46,000 a year to meet basic needs. Yet, a parent working full-time earning the federal minimum wage ($7.25) has a gross income of only $15,080, leaving a family of three in poverty. Worse yet, a parent earning Minnesota’s state minimum wage ($6.15) earns less than $13,000 a year. Nearly 200,000 Minnesota children are living in poverty.
While the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 in 2009, 19 states and Washington, D.C. have gone above the federal minimum wage - recognizing that it takes more than $7.25 to make ends meet. Minnesota is one of only four states with a minimum wage lower than the federal. In fact, MN has the 3rd lowest minimum wage in the country ($6.15 for large employers and $5.25 for small employers).
To listen to Alexandra Fitzsimmons, CDF-MN’s Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Director, testify in support of raising Minnesota’s minimum wage, click here. Alexandra's testimony starts at the 2:49:44 mark in the audio recording.
Read our blog on the minimum wage.
Please Contact Legislators Today!
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (3 – Cook)
Use mail form: www.senate.mn/senatorbakkemail
Sen. Chris Eaton (40 – Brooklyn Center)
Senate Minimum Wage Bill Author
Use mail form: www.senate.mn/senatoreatonemail
Sen. Jeff Hayden (62 – Minneapolis)
Sen. David Tomassoni (6 – Chisholm)
Rep. Ryan Winkler (46A – Golden Valley)
House Minimum Wage Bill Author
Rep. Jason Metsa (6B – Virginia)
Rep. Jeanne Poppe (27B – Austin)
Find your legislator's contact information.
Thank you for speaking up for children. Your voice makes a difference!
If you have any questions about raising the minimum wage, please contact Alexandra Fitzsimmons, Legislative Affairs and Advocacy Director, at 651-855-1178 or firstname.lastname@example.org.