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  (MN) Senate backs minimum-wage hike
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ContributorEric 
Last EditedEric  Feb 03, 2005 05:55pm
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MediaNewspaper - Star Tribune, The (Minneapolis - St. Paul)
News DateThursday, February 3, 2005 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionSenators approved a two-stage bump in the minimum wage Thursday that could ultimately boost daily earnings from $41 a day to $56 for Minnesotans at the bottom of the pay ladder.

Minnesota's minimum wage currently matches the federal level of $5.15 an hour, the going rate since 1997. Under the bill, the minimum wage would rise to $6.10 this July and $7 the next.

The debate, followed by a 37-28 vote, mirrored one the Senate had last year before passing a wage hike. The big question is whether supporters will get a vote in Republican-led House, where the measure has stalled before.

Sen. Ellen Anderson, the bill's sponsor, said the change is overdue.

"We need a new floor that reflects today's economy,'' Anderson, DFL-St. Paul, said. "$5.15 does not reflect today's economy.''

People on minimum wage are struggling to afford rent, groceries and other basic needs, she said. Minnesota senators get $66 a day just for expenses.
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