ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The speaker of the Minnesota House has declared that raising the state’s minimum wage is likely the top priority of Democrats as the new legislative session gets started.
House Speaker Paul Thissen made the remarks Tuesday at the Raise the Wage Coalition rally attended by several hundred people rallied at the State Capitol.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has been more hesitant to back House Democrats and Gov. Mark Dayton’s wish to boost the wage to $9.50 by 2015.
But Bakk softened his position at the rally. He now says he believes Senate Democrats will sign on to $9.50, but that it might not get all the way to that level next year but rather would be phased in more slowly.
Republicans warn that a minimum wage increase could force businesses to cut jobs.