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Hospitality Industry Urges Caution Over Raising the Minimum Wage [AUDIO]

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ST. PAUL – Members of the hospitality industry were down at the State Capitol yesterday (Monday) talking to lawmakers about the minimum wage.

Dan McElroy is the President and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota.  He says they’re not opposed to an increase, but $9.50 is too high. He says they also don’t want minimum wage increases to be automatically tied to inflation.  And, McElroy says there should be a separate standard for employees who also earn tips.

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McElroy says there are about 81,000 workers in Minnesota who get paid the minimum wage. About half of them also earn tips.

He says if lawmakers raise the minimum wage too fast and too high, jobs will be lost.

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Washington and Oregon have the highest minimum wages in the country. He says higher wages will be passed on to the customers.

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McElroy says he doesn’t have a figure in mind for the minimum wage, but he points to South Dakota where they have a referendum on the ballot this fall that would eventually take their minimum wage to $8.50 an hour.

The minimum wage bill is in conference committee right now.

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