Small businesses are able to pay a lower rate, while lower youth and training wages are part of the law.
Already, a clown car of conservative gubernatorial candidates are promising to block the post-2016 raises.
Minnesota's Republicans continue to share their "we'll pay you less and you'll get rich" message with the world. While they haven't been able to pass so-called "right to work" legislation, the new whipping post against working Minnesotans is the indexed minimum wage.
MinnPost's Briana Bierschbach reports in Republicans claim near-total power to cancel minimum-wage raises:
Under the DFL deal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $9.50 per hour with an inflation index starting in 2018, Minnesota’s Commissioner of the Department Labor and Industry can suspend indexing the wage for up to 12 months — if leading economic indicators point to a “substantial downturn in the state’s economy.”
At least three Republican gubernatorial candidates — Kurt Zellers, Dave Thompson, and Jeff Johnson — assert they have near-absolute power to stop indexing annually, if elected. One economist says forecasting is uncertain enough to make that possible. If so, indexing would effectively disappear during GOP administrations.
The bill delegates indexing’s annual fate to the labor commissioner, but Gov. Mark Dayton notes that appointee “works for the governor and serves as an at-will position. The bottom line is the governor has the prerogative to make that decision.”
Read the rest of the article to learn that Kurt Zellers, Dave Thompson and Jeff Johnson believe that telling Minnesotans that they don't deserve raises in times of inflation is a winning message. (Bierschbach reports that "GOP gubernatorial candidates Marty Seifert and Scott Honour did not return requests for comment.")
Thompson has authored a bill to amend the Minnesota constitution to make us an anti-union state. Seifert and Johnson also support making Minnesota anti-union. Workers in so-called right-to-work states make less, according to a study cited by the Star Tribune in 2012:
Back to the study. Just what did the Economic Policy Institute find?:
* Women's wages dropped 4.4 percent in states where unionized companies made union dues optional. (Men's wages were 1.7 percent lower).
* The hit to wages was higher among non-whites. Blacks and Hispanics were paid 4.8 percent and 4.4 percent less than their non-union peers.
* On average, annual wages and benefits are $1,500 lower in RTW states than for comparable workers in non-RTW states — for both union and nonunion workers.
* Right-to-work laws widened the pay gap between men and women.
So now the MNGOP hopes to add freezing potential raises for the state's lowest paid workers to their dreams of depressing wages. How appealing.
Photo: Most of the MNGOP gubernatorial candidates. Via MPR.
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