$15 Minimum Wage Adopted in Minneapolis

The change will be phased in for businesses across seven years.

By Fibonacci Blue [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Dinkytown $15/hr minimum wage protests. Photo by Fibonacci Blue [CC BY SA 2.0]

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minneapolis City Council overwhelmingly passed a city ordinance on Friday which establishes a minimum wage of $15 an hour for businesses operating within city limits.

On Wednesday the council’s Committee of the Whole recommended to the full council that the $15 minimum wage ordinance be passed, reports MinnPost. At that meeting the committee voted 11-1 in favor of the ordinance. As every member of the council sits on the Committee of the Whole, this makes passage all but assured heading into Friday.

Prior to the vote itself, City Council members lauded the efforts of activists from a variety of groups for their efforts in pushing the council to approve the minimum wage increase.

“This is a huge victory for workers in Minneapolis,” Council Member Lisa Bender said at the meeting, reports the Star Tribune. “Thank you for all of your work and all that you’ve done.”

Council Member Blong Yang was the only no vote at both the Committee and full council votes, reports the Star Tribune. He expressed concerns that the new minimum wage would have adverse affects on the ward he represents. Before the vote Yang read a statement listing his concerns, which included that the ordinance might negatively affect small business owners, minority entrepreneurs, and youth workers.

Minneapolis Congressman Keith Ellison celebrated the vote by posting a video of himself performing a song for the occasion on his Twitter account.

The Committee of the Whole made some significant changes to the proposed ordinance Wednesday prior to passing it on to the full council.

Council Member Jacob Frey was the chief author of an amendment which gave businesses with 100 or more employees five years to phase in the wage increase, reports Minnpost. Smaller businesses would have seven years to do the same. That means by 2024 everyone working in Minneapolis would be earning at least $15 an hour. The controversial tip credit measure was left out of the bill, and from 2024 onward the minimum wage will be pegged to inflation by the same formula as determines the statewide minimum wage.

Alpha News previously reported on a study from the University of Washington which found that Seattle’s large increase in the minimum wage had an adverse affect on the actual earnings of low income workers. Workers on average worked 9.4 percent less hours after the wage increase.


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Anders Koskinen