Minn. House Dems to live week on minimum wage 19 Feb 14

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – As Minnesota’s legislative session draws near, one of the state’s minimum-wage champions has issued a challenge.

Five House colleagues accepted Golden Valley Democrat Rep. Ryan Winkler’s invitation Tuesday to live for a week on the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

Minnesota has one of the lowest minimum wages in the nation. Winkler’s minimum-wage goal is $9.50 by 2015, but an agreement with the Democratic-controlled Senate hasn’t been struck.

Business groups oppose a minimum-wage increase, arguing that it could reduce low-wage jobs.

Winkler says the wage challenge exercise helps lawmakers understand the plight of minimum-wage workers.

Similar to a minimum-wage earner, lawmakers will have about $33 to spend on food and about $9 to spend on transportation. Working America, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, organized the challenge.