MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The push is growing to raise the minimum wage in Minnesota.
Some lawmakers want to pass a bill this session to raise it to $9.50 an hour, but some workers in Minneapolis were rallying for much more Saturday.
“I believe workers have a right, have a basic human right to be able to make enough money to raise their families and have safe affordable housing,” Veronica Mendez Moore from Minneapolis said.
Mendez Moore was among over a hundred people that showed up to rally for the ’15 Now’ movement at Incarnation Catholic Church.
The movement supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It started in Washington after a $15 minimum wage passed in SeaTac for airport and hotel workers.
“Even last year people were saying $9.50 was ridiculous and that’s maybe why it didn’t get passed. I think, if we’re going to actually have wins for our communities we need to be bold,” Mendez Moore said.
A recent state report showed that while many of today’s minimum wage workers are young and part time, 40 percent are adults.
However, political experts say the odds of such a hike passing is near impossible.
“It’s not even being talked about…frankly, $10.50 an hour is even out of the realm of possibility,” Humphrey School of Public Affairs political science professor Larry Jacobs said.
Jacobs said such a dramatic increase in the minimum wage could make it difficult for small businesses to keep up.
“Even moderates in the democratic party are worried that some businesses may leave Minnesota because they’re going to find the cost of doing business too high,” he said.
Still, the $9.50 minimum wage will likely pass this session.
“It’s not enough. Having kids and trying to save money for college for my kids, I don’t think it’s enough,” Josefina Catalan from Minneapolis said.