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MN Minimum Wage Could Greatly Increase - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Minimum Wage Could Greatly Increase

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A bill is moving through the Minnesota legislature that could bump the state's minimum wage much higher. By 2015 Minnesota workers who make the minimum, could see over $10 an hour.

"That'd be awesome, if wages went up I could pay off a lot of things, bills, college loans." says Emily Miller a cocktail server at JC Chumleys. The increased minimum wage spikes the interest for many workers, especially for some who already came across the river to earn more money like Brittany Olafson.

"That was one of the reasons I came to serve in Minnesota, because the minimum wage was higher, but yah Fargo I wouldn't go back to after the raise for sure." Brittany says who's also a cocktail server at JC Chumleys.

And co-worker Emily agrees, "Well I originally lived in Moorhead, and then I ended up moving over to Fargo just a few years ago, but I continue to work here because wages are better."

Currently the Minnesota minimum wage is $6.15 an hour, but many workers are paid the federal minimum of $7.25. The proposed increase is to change it to $10.55.

"Right now I don't think it's that bad, like it's pretty decent now in Minnesota, but if it raises that much more that's awesome." Brittany says. And many employees agree that seeing an extra $3.30 an hour would be great. But for businesses the increase of wages would be an increase of expenses.

"I think it would defiantly be a draw back, especially on the tip side of it, it's very very difficult to meet your operating costs especially with a giant increase like that." says Cory Gilbertson a General Manager at JL Beers in Moorhead.

For a city trying to grow, it may push some owners away from the East side of the river. But businesses here say they will do what it takes to keep going, and to help Moorhead.

"It's hard to manage sometimes, it's possible, and again we do like being a big part of what's going on in Moorhead, we like to try and contribute to the success of Moorhead as much as possible. But that does make it a little more difficult." Cory says.

Minnesota hasn't raised it's minimum wage since 2005. The proposal would gradually increase the minimum wage over a span of three years. This is just the start for the proposal, the bill passed its first house committee vote Thursday, but it faces many more votes before it could become law.

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