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MN Considers $9.50/Hour Minimum Wage - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

MN Considers $9.50/Hour Minimum Wage

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  The debate over minimum wage is expected to heat up, after the Minnesota legislature goes back into session on Tuesday.

  Minnesotans now making the Federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or close to it, could soon see a pay raise.

  Democrats control the Legislature and they're pushing to raise the minimum wage to as much as $9.50 an hour.

Rep. Paul Marquart, (DFL) Dilworth: "I think it's time. Also, I think it will certainly help the purchasing power and raise the quality of life for a lot of people in our area."

  However, Republicans like Representative Deb Kiel of Crookston say, she's hearing from a lot of Minnesota border city business owners. Business owners who are telling her, they just can't afford to pay anymore.

Rep. Deb Kiel,  (R) Crookston: "They're telling me already… you added the cigarette tax, you're talking about adding the gas tax and you're requiring a minimum wage… it's too much and they're saying, I'm going to cry Uncle."

Rep. Paul Marquart: "There are certainly more concerns along the border, especially North Dakota and Minnesota. In fact, Representative Lien and other legislators are looking at some things to mitigate that."

  At this point, the legislative calendar is still being set, but it's expected the minimum wage issue should be up for debate within the first few weeks of this session.

  It's been almost a decade since Minnesota has raised its minimum wage of $6.15 an hour.

  North Dakota's minimum wage is already at the Federal level of $7.25 an hour.

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