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Gazelka wants minimum wage to match federal standard

Minnesota Senate Republicans Wednesday supported a plan to raise Minnesota’s minimum wage from $6.15 to $7.25 per hour, matching the federal minimum wage and putting the state in line with neighboring states. The proposal, according to a news release from Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Cass County, was rejected by Democrats.

“The minimum wage increase, once it’s all said and done is a 54 percent increase and that, frankly, is unbearable for many of our small businesses, grocers, retailers, gas stations, etc.” Gazelka said. “In the end we’re going to lose some of our entry level jobs and I think it will hurt the small businesses in rural Minnesota,” he said. “I did support conformity to the federal guidelines for minimum wage which would have been a modest increase, but all Democrats refused to adopt that language so, at the end of the day I could not support a 54 percent increase in minimum wage.”

The final bill did not change Minnesota’s law regarding the agricultural employment overtime threshold, which helps Minnesota farmers compete with the rest of the nation.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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