MN Supreme Court Upholds Mpls. Higher Minimum Wage
Thursday, January 23, 2020
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The legal fight over the $15 an hour minimum wage ordinance in Minneapolis appears settled for now, after it was upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Supporters of the ordinance are celebrating the decision. The higher minimum wage was approved in 2017 and is being phased in over a several-year period.
Opponents argue that it conflicts with existing state law and is harmful to businesses, especially smaller companies.
But Ken Jacobs, a labor economist at University of California Berkeley, says research on similar laws shows little evidence of higher wages having a negative effect.
"Workers are earning more, which is what the laws are intending to do," he points out. "And we are not seeing measurable effects on employment. So, the predictions that this would result employment decreases haven't come through."
Jacobs notes in Seattle, there was initial concern the higher wage there was slowing job growth, but research didn't bear that out.
The local branch of the Federal Reserve Bank has been asked to examine the Minneapolis ordinance. Those findings are due in the coming weeks.
It's unclear what sort of ripple effect the Minnesota high court ruling might have. But St. Paul has already adopted a similar ordinance.
And Jacobs says that seems to be the pattern in states where higher wages have prevailed in larger cities.
"So, we have seen in states that allow cities to raise the minimum wage, that we've seen a number of cities, especially in higher cost urban areas, choose to do so," he states.
The patchwork of higher wages in California led to a statewide law of $15 an hour.
In Minnesota, Democrats -- including Gov. Tim Walz -- have voiced support for a statewide $15-an-hour law.
But Senate Republicans argue that the current minimum wage is higher than in neighboring states, and is keeping pace with inflation.
get more stories like this via email
The Iowa League of Women Voters plans to ask the Iowa Legislature to rethink the voting restrictions put in place prior to last month's midterm electi…
Agriculture groups and government agencies aren't slowing down in trying to convince farmers to use more sustainable practices such as cover crops…
Winter is here, leaving many older South Dakotans vulnerable to social isolation. But a growing body of research, as well as opportunities, shows …
By Jala Forest / Broadcast version by Nadia Ramlagan Reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration Nearly 40% of college students a…
The Biden administration has proposed a rule to limit methane flaring from oil and gas development on public lands. The rule would impose royalty …
The flu, COVID and RSV are rapidly spreading in Kentucky, and health experts say that's a problem for hospitals, schools and the state's vulnerable …
As its 125th anniversary nears, the Connecticut Audubon Society has released a report detailing the effectiveness of conservation efforts in the …
2022 was a banner year for women elected as governor. Nearly one-third of America's governors will be women next year, which is a record. Iowa …