Worker justice legislation also triples the working family tax credit
ST. PAUL, MN – The 2016 presidential campaign has illustrated the public’s appetite for economic justice and fair pay. Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) is leading the charge for a higher minimum wage here in Minnesota. Marty says it is time for the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” to join the ranks of California, New York, and several cities across the country in boosting the minimum wage to $15 per hour. The provision is part of legislation, Senate File 3612, which aims to improve the financial well-being of low-income workers. Introduced on Monday, Sen. Marty’s Worker Justice Bill triples the working family tax credit, makes child care affordable for low income workers, and phases in the higher minimum wage.
“Bernie Sanders has engaged millions of Americans who are hungry for change, people who are saying loud and clear that workers deserve living wages, and that the growing income gap is crushing hard working people – and they are demanding change. This Worker Justice Bill is a response to that call for economic justice,” said Senator Marty
The bill would build on Minnesota’s success in raising the minimum wage in 2014. It would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour for large businesses and $13 per hour for small businesses by the year 2022, the same timeline as California and other states.
To address financial strain on Minnesota families from childcare, the bill expands the state child care assistance program, eliminating the waiting list, giving parents a better choice of child care providers, and providing better compensation to those providers.
The Working Family Tax Credit is also increased in the bill. For a single parent with one child who earns about $23,000 per year, this legislation would triple the tax credit, giving an additional $2,000 to help pay their bills. “This will make a huge difference in the quality of life for families with low income workers. This bill would be the strongest commitment towards fulfilling the goal of Minnesota’s Commission to End Poverty by 2020,” said Sen. Marty.
Although the short 2016 legislature will not take up this proposal, Senator Marty called for its passage early in 2017. “We’re seeing this movement across the country where people are saying: ‘enough is enough.’ Income inequality is a huge problem. People deserve more than political rhetoric; they deserve policies that will address the problem. This bill will give workers a living wage through the tax credit, $15 minimum wage, and investments in child care,” Marty stated.
“The bottom line is that many hard working Minnesotans currently cannot make ends meet. All workers deserve the dignity of being able to put food on the table and take care of their families’ basic needs. This legislation is a response to the movement sweeping our country – and a commitment to helping all workers thrive,” said Marty.