ST. PAUL, MINN. – Senator Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul) joined his colleagues in the DFL-led Senate to vote yes on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage. The wage will rise from Minnesota’s current rate of $6.15 an hour to $9.50 an hour, phased in over two and a half years. This legislation will help out 357,000 Minnesota workers, which represent about 14 percent of the state’s workforce.
“Increasing minimum wage will make a big difference in the lives of the single mothers and young workers who make their homes in my district. I’m glad that we are able to pass the bill out of the Senate floor faster than anticipated and appreciate the hard work of our leadership,” said Sen. Hawj.
Minorities, and particularly women minorities are frequently among the lowest-wage workers in the state. Out of the Minnesota’s Asian workers, 17 percent will see a wage increase due to raising the minimum wage, and out of Hispanic workers the percentage is even higher at 29 percent of the workers seeing a raise. Raising the wage will also pour roughly $472 million into the state’s economy – and directly into local businesses and communities.
Beginning in 2018, minimum wage will increase each year on January 1 by inflation measured by the implicit price deflator which will be capped at 2.5 percent. The indexed increase could be suspended for one year by the Commissioner of the Department of Labor and Industry if leading economic indicators show the possibility of a substantial downturn in the economy.
Sen. Hawj welcomes additional questions or comments. You can contact him at Sen.Foung.Hawj@senate.mn or by calling his office at (651) 296-5285