KSTP/SurveyUSA: Minnesotans Favor Minimum Wage Increase

Updated: 04/14/2014 2:08 PM KSTP.com By: Tom Hauser

In this April 29, 2013, file photo Lyle Cafe owner Barbara Johnson of Winthrop, Minn., speaks in support of a bill to raise Minnesota's minimum wage.
In this April 29, 2013, file photo Lyle Cafe owner Barbara Johnson of Winthrop, Minn., speaks in support of a bill to raise Minnesota's minimum wage.
Photo: Photo: AP/Jim Mone, File



The Minnesota Senate on Wednesday is poised to approve a dramatic increase in the state's minimum wage from $6.15 to $9.50 per hour. The bill would also index future increases to rise with the rate of inflation.

According to our new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 61 percent of Minnesotans surveyed approve of the increase to $9.50.  However, only 49 percent think it's a good idea to index future increases to inflation.

Gov. Mark Dayton says he'll sign the bill once it's passed by the House and Senate. 

"That'll mean about 350,000 Minnesotans are going to have more money in their pockets from their hard work to further bolster our economy," Dayton said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Labor groups strongly support the bill. Many business groups remain opposed. 

"Raising Minnesota's minimum wage to one of the highest in the country will have significant unintended consequences to our state's economy," Jamie Pfuhl, president of the Minnesota Grocers Association, said.

Pfuhl says the retail food industry operates on a tight profit margin and higher wages will mean higher prices for consumers.