For some time, Bluestem has been hearing from very reliable sources, some very close to the Minnesota Senate itself, that contrary to Majority Leader Tom Bakk's claim that while he supports indexing raises, the policy doesn't have the vote, the real roadblock is that Bakk himself doesn't like the idea.
Our sources, consistently and independently, assert that the votes are there, with enough senators willing to vote for whatever comes out of the conference committee that the measure will pass if it's in the report from the committee.
Passages in a new article by Patrick Condon in the Star Tribune, With DFL unity at stake, Bakk sets his own priorities at State Capitol, lend circumstantial support for these sources:
It’s a session that has seen alliances between Democrats tested, not just over the office project but in the ongoing effort to raise the state minimum wage from $6.15 to $9.50 an hour. What seemed like a slam dunk for the party has again divided Bakk from Dayton and Thissen, as the majority leader pushes back against longtime allies in labor and angers party activists who seek not just a wage hike, but an automatic tie to inflation.
“I’m just trying to take a thoughtful approach on this, and the idea of putting minimum wage increases on autopilot, I think, puts some of our business community at risk,” Bakk said in an interview. “I realize that’s not where labor wants to be. But it’s the thoughtful approach.”
By using the term "autopilot," he's adopted the rhetoric of indexing's opponents, while leaving the poor in the cold. That sounds like a man who has been soaking in praise from Republicans and Big Business, not a DFL leader.
Photo: A variation on a meme.
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