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Minnesota House Committee Approves Minimum Wage Hike, O’Driscoll Votes ‘No’ [AUDIO]

Representative Tim O’Driscoll

ST. PAUL (AP) – A bill that would raise Minnesota’s minimum wage to more than $10 an hour by 2015 is moving through the Legislature.

The House Labor, Workforce and Regulated Industries Committee on Thursday passed a bill to increase to the minimum wage in three steps until it hits $10.55. After that, wages would automatically rise according to inflation.

Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, says the increase will help Minnesotans get by and also inject more money into the economy. Republicans say the increase would harm small businesses, causing layoffs and higher prices. The bill passed by an 8-6 party-line vote.

Republican state Representative Tim O’Driscoll of Sartell argued that the minimum wage is a temporary first step on the employment path and doesn’t need to be increased.

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The minimum wage in Minnesota law is currently $6.15 per hour, but many workers are paid the higher federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. Minnesota hasn’t raised its floor wage since 2005.

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