Legislative negotiators to talk minimum wage on Thursday
February 26, 2014 — 7:22pm
After promising Tuesday -- this year's legislative session's opening day -- they would hammer out a deal to raise Minnesota's minimum wage, lawmakers quickly announced a hearing to get it done.
On Thursday afternoon House and Senate lawmakers will meet in a joint committee to begin hearing from people with opinions on the issue.
In the coming weeks lawmakers are expected to figure out whether they will raise the state's minimum -- now $6.15 an hour and one of the nation's lowest -- to $9.50 by 2015. Last year, House approved last year and many advocates have pitched raising the wage floor to $9.50.
Addressing a Capitol rally on Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said raising the wage was one of the session's top priorities, if not the top priority.
Last year, the Senate backed a more modest increase and negotiations broke down between the House and Senate.
But this year, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, attended a rally of folks pushing to raise the wage to $9.50 by 2015 and wore a button declaring his support.
After the rally, he said he believed the Senate could pass a measure to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 but lawmakers may want to see the wage floor inch up more slowly than advocates have pushed and the House had backed.
The Thursday hearing will be at 4:30 p.m. or half an hour after the House adjourns its floor session in room 5 of the State Office Building.
Photo: Tuesday's minimum wage rally with DFLers from House, Senate and Gov. Mark Dayton's commissioners on stage//source: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
Wells Fargo says CEO John Stumpf and the executive who ran the bank's retail banking division will forfeit tens of millions of dollars in pay as the bank tries to stem a scandal over its sales practices.