OWATONNA, Minn. — On the day California’s governor signed a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10 an hour, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton made his opinion heard.
He said he would be disappointed if the legislature does not do the same next session.
Right now the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, but Minnesotans can earn two dollars less than that at small businesses. Even large business only have to pay their employees $6.15 an hour.
So Dayton said he would “settle” for $9.50 an hour.
“Restaurants, grocery stores, a lot of times those are staffed by high school students or college students that might be minimum wage or maybe a little bit above. All of those products that they sell, the price has got to go up at some point there to offset the increased wages,” said David Wheeler, Branch Manager of the Rochester, Red Wing and Owatonna Manpower locations.
He said it could lead in a direction that is what state leaders do not want.
“In many cases, they would have to end up getting rid of some jobs. If there’s not any profit margin in there, or not much profit margin, you’re not going to be able to see companies just arbitrarily raise that wage,” Wheeler said.
Last session the House passed a bill that would have raised the wage to $9.50 in three increments. The Senate bill maxed out at $7.75.