GOP Restart Wage Debate with Talk of Tips
ST. PAUL (AP) — House Republicans are reigniting a debate over the minimum wage with a move to exempt some servers, bartenders and other tipped workers from future hikes.
Legislators passed a law last year bumping the state's minimum wage up to $9.50 hourly by 2016. Rep. Pat Garofalo, a Farmington Republican, has a bill that would allow employers to pay tipped staff $8 hourly if tips bring their pay above $12 an hour.
Servers and union officials packed inside a hearing room Wednesday to oppose the bill. They've got allies in the Democrat-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Tom Bakk says it's unlikely they'll pursue the change.
Restaurant owners say many of their tipped workers make substantially more than the floor wage. They say increased labor costs are hurting their business and all employees.