Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

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.

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