The House bill, passed Friday, increases the state minimum wage to $9.50 per hour over three years and institutes automatic future increases based on inflation.

The Senate, in contrast, is considering legislation to raise the minimum wage to $7.75 per hour.

Minnesota has one of the lowest state minimum wages in the country, at $6.15 an hour. However, most workers qualify for the higher federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. An increase in Minnesota’s minimum would give all minimum wage earners a boost, as the higher state standard would pre-empt the federal law.

“The Minnesota House took a huge step forward today in ensuring better wages for hundreds of thousands of hard working Minnesotans. The minimum wage has continued to lose value over the last 40 years; this legislation would begin to restore some of its buying power,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson.

“By passing a meaningful minimum wage increase, like the one authored by Rep. Ryan Winkler, low-wage workers can be part of Minnesota’s economic recovery. For every $1 dollar increase in the minimum wage there is a boost in consumer spending by a low-wage workers’ household by $2,800 over the following year.

“The Minnesota AFL-CIO has made a meaningful increase in the minimum wage a top legislative priority this session. We are proud to be part of a diverse coalition of labor unions, faith groups, non-profit organizations, and small business owners advocating for a higher wage. We strongly urge the Minnesota Senate to significantly improve its minimum bill before passage.”

Governor Mark Dayton has indicated he supports a minimum wage of between $9 and $9.50 an hour.

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