In response to today’s agreement between the House and Senate on legislation to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to $9.50 by 2016 and to make future upward adjustments to reflect the cost of living, Raise the Wage Coalition co-chairs Peggy Flanagan, Executive Director, Children’s Defense Fund, Minnesota; Brian Rusche, Executive Director, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition; and Shar Knutson, President, Minnesota AFL-CIO, issued the following statement:
“This is great news for all Minnesotans, but especially the 357,000 working Minnesotans and 137,000 children whose lives will improve as their family incomes go up.
This coalition was formed to get Minnesota’s minimum wage to catch up to $9.50 and keep up by adjusting the wage to reflect increases in the cost of living. This plan accomplishes that goal. That’s why we support this agreement and thank the bill authors, along with Senate and House leaders for their tireless work.
This agreement sends a message that in Minnesota, hard work is valued. It also ensures that Minnesota’s minimum wage will no longer lose value every year and low wage workers won’t have to wait another decade for a raise.
This issue has brought an unprecedented number of community, faith, labor, non-profit and service-based organizations into a diverse coalition. We have been united by the principle that nobody who works full time should have to live in poverty. This agreement moves Minnesota a major step toward making that principle a reality.”