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Continued: Minnesota House votes to raise minimum wage

  • Article by: RACHEL E. STASSEN-BERGER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 4, 2013 - 1:07 PM

“This is really another unemployment bill by the Democrats,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa. “This is not the place for the government to even be.”

Lawmakers tried to change the bill to allow employees who average $12 an hour in wages plus tips, to earn $7.25 an hour in wages. If the employees failed to average $12 an hour, they would get the state minimum of $9.50 an hour.

The move, backed by the Minnesota Restaurant Association, failed to pass on a tie vote.

Other changes

The House bill also would double allowable unpaid family leave to 12 weeks from six. Workers would get overtime after 40 hours instead of 48. Federal law already dictates both workplace requirements, but exempts workers in certain industries.

About 115,000 Minnesota employees, including agricultural workers, are exempt from the federal law that mandates overtime for employees after 40 hours.

At those businesses, employees only get overtime after working 48 hours.

On an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the House decided that agricultural workers should continue to get paid extra only after 48 hours of work.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said the need to exempt certain businesses from the changes highlighted how flawed Democrats’ plans are.

“We’re seeing the consequences on a one-size-fits-all approach,” he said. “This is a colossal unfunded mandate on the small businesses of Minnesota. … Money doesn’t grow on trees.”


Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Twitter: @RachelSB


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