ST. PAUL, Minn. – In a move that aims to improve the lives of low-income workers and move them out of poverty, Sen. John Marty (DFL-Roseville) introduced a “Worker Dignity” Bill, Senate File 890. The legislation would continue the phased-in increase in the minimum wage, provide funds to help workers afford child care, and boost the working family tax credit.
The bill extends the increase in the minimum wage, from $9.50 per hour in 2016 to $12.50 per hour in the year 2020. Because rising costs of child care are causing financial strain on Minnesota families, the bill also expands the state child care assistance program, to give parents a better choice of child care providers, and provides better compensation to those providers. The Working Family Tax Credit would also be expanded, further helping out hard-working families across the state.
For a single parent with one child who earns about $23,000 per year, this legislation would also increase the working family tax credit, giving an additional $2,000 to help them 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 biggest step towards fulfilling the goal of Minnesota’s Commission to End Poverty by 2020,” said Sen. Marty.
“Minnesotans who are working full-time deserve the dignity of being able to support their families through their hard work. Income inequality is very real in Minnesota, and many hardworking people are unable to pull themselves out of poverty. This bill will move them towards a living wage and help them with a tax credit and investments in child care,” Marty stated.
Marty points to the growing gap in wealth distribution, where the top 1% of Americans hold more than a third of all wealth – seven times as much as the entire bottom half of the American public. He also points to research from the Minnesota Housing Partnership indicating that one in eight Minnesota households paid more than half of their entire income on housing.
“The bottom line is that many middle and low-income people barely make ends meet despite their hard work. All workers deserve the dignity of being able to put food on the table and take care of their families’ basic needs. This legislation will move workers out of poverty and help them, the state and the economy to be more successful,” said Marty.
To read more about Sen. Marty’s Worker Dignity Bill visit http://apple-pie.org/ttp/default.asp on Tuesday for an in-depth column.