All it would take, you said, was for Minnesotans to give the DFL a super-majority. Well, we voters delivered it to you! You have it! But now, instead of advancing Living Wage legislation, the DFL is floating another “minimum wage” bill that will just perpetuate poverty wages for many Minnesota workers!
Most importantly, we need to begin with a realistic dollar amount. Living Wages need to be calculated based on realistic levels of cost-of-living. U.S. Census data suggests at least $15 per hour; while, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), hourly wages of $22 and $26 at 40 hrs/week are needed to cover basic necessities. When making decisions on determining basic needs for a dignified life, the testimony from low-income Minnesotans should also be taken into consideration.
A Living Wage must also be subject to regular cost-of-living adjustments. The Consumer Price Index is our best indicator, and it should be used to adjust a new Minnesota Living Wage level quarterly or at least semi-annually.
Minnesota has long been considered a progressive bellwether. Do something significant now for her working men and women. It is what everybody morally deserves — the prospect of a dignified life.
Be courageous. Lead our state — and our nation — in securing the right of every worker to earn a decent living.
It can begin with the Minnesota Living Wage Act of 2014.
You can make it happen!