At Issue: Gov. Dayton to Sign Minimum Wage Bill

Updated: 04/14/2014 5:03 PM By: Heidi Enninga

In this week's edition of At Issue, host Tom Hauser takes an in-depth look at the local political issues that affect you.

Gov. Mark Dayton is set to sign into law the first minimum wage increase for Minnesotans in about a decade on Monday. The Senate passed the bill on Wednesday and the House, passed it the day after. The new law will incrementally increase the minimum wage to $9.50 in 2016.

According a KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 61 percent of respondents approve of increasing the minimum wage from $6.15 to $9.50. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they disapprove and 7 percent said they were unsure.

Gov. Dayton said members of his administration shouldn't testify before a legislative oversight committee about questions on whether or not they knew about major problems with MNsure's website earlier this year. Dayton said Republicans are using the committee as a political weapon, but the bill that created the committee to monitor and critique MNsure was signed by Dayton.

The state Senate passed a $209 million budget bill Tuesday, which is about $100 million less than the House's version passed the week before. Now, the two will have to come together to strike a deal.

A cheaper proposal for the Senate office building is moving forward after a Senate panel approved a $77 million proposal to house the state's 67 senators. The House committee passed the same proposal last week. Construction could potentially start July 1.

The debate on medical marijuana continues at the capitol, and while lawmakers remain divided, a KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll showed most Minnesotans think it should be legalized. Sixty-eight percent of respondents said medical marijuana should be legal and 24 percent are opposed.

In Political Analysis, Don Betzold, former DFL state senator, and Ben Golnik, a Republican strategist, joined Tom Hauser to discuss medical marijuana, MNsure and the debate over what to do with the budget surplus.

In Face Off, Denise Cardinal, a DFL consultant, and Annette Meeks, CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, joined Tom Hauser to debate the minimum wage increase.