Minnesota Inflation Adjusted Minimum Wage Amendment (2014)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
- 1 Text of measure
- 2 Support
- 3 Opposition
- 4 Media editorial positions
- 5 Reports and analyses
- 6 Path to the ballot
- 7 Similar measures
- 8 See also
- 9 References
Text of measure
The ballot title would have read as follows:
|“||Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to establish a minimum wage at a rate of at least $10 per hour that is increased each year by the rate of inflation?||”|
(a) Every employer must pay each employee wages at a rate of at least:
(b) Beginning January 1, 2016, and each subsequent year, the minimum wage in paragraph (a) is multiplied by the ratio of the annual implicit price deflator for government consumption expenditures and gross investment for state and local governments as prepared by the United States Department of Commerce for the most recently available year, to the 2013 implicit price deflator for government consumption expenditures and gross investment for state and local governments as prepared by the United States Department of Commerce.
Sen. Thomas Bakk (D-3) explained the rationale behind utilizing an amendment instead of a statute for the minimum wage law. He said, "The constitution is intended to protect the rights of the minority. These low-wage workers are a minority of Minnesotans. This gives them some protection that their wages would keep up with inflation. It meets my test that this is important enough that it belongs in the constitution."
Media editorial positions
- Minneapolis Star Tribune said, "Like the rejected amendments in 2012 — one to ban same-sex marriage, another to require a government-issued photo ID to vote — the minimum wage’s relationship to inflation is very much within the Legislature’s purview. It has nothing to do with state government’s foundation or function."
- Rochester Post Bulletin said, "Bakk said 10 of the 11 states that index their minimum wage to inflation did so after constitutional amendment. Just because other lawmakers in other states abdicated their legislative responsibility doesn't mean Minnesota should follow suit."
Reports and analyses
Economic Policy Institute
Economic Policy Institute (EPI), an economics think tank that supports an increased minimum wage, analyzed the relationship between higher state minimum wages and changes in economic conditions to hypothesize about the effects that would be generated by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would increase the minimum hourly wage to $10.10. Multiple initiative campaigns have cited the research as a supporting argument. EPI developed the two following key points:
- Such an hourly amount would restore the minimum wage to an inflation-adjusted value equivalent to the minimum wage in 1968. “It is important to also recognize that today’s minimum wage has not fallen to exceptional lows out of economic necessity. Over the past 45 years, the U.S. economy has vastly expanded, and productivity (our ability to produce goods and services for the same amount of work) has more than doubled. Yet the minimum wage—our agreed-upon standard for the minimum amount a worker in our society should be paid—has been left to stagnate and decline.”
- An increased minimum wage would create more consumer demand and thus create more jobs and spur economic growth. “Research over the past two decades has shown that, despite skeptics’ claims, modest increases in the minimum wage have little to no negative impact on jobs. In fact, under current labor market conditions, where tepid consumer demand is a major factor holding businesses back from expanding their payrolls, raising the minimum wage can provide a catalyst for new hiring.” Such an increase would indirectly raise the wages of an additional 27.8 million workers, who would receive about $35 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period.
To read the full report, see here.
Congressional Budget Office
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report on the “principle effects” of increasing the minimum hourly wage to $9.00 or $10.10. An increase to $10.10, they concluded, would have a more substantial effect on wages and employment than $9.00. The CBO made the following conclusions about raising the minimum wage:
- An increase to $9.00 would reduce total employment by about 100,000 and an increase to $10.10 by approximately 500,000. The CBO postulated that this would happen because employers would raise commodity prices to offset wage increases.
- An increase may be accompanied by reductions in real-income due to inflation and higher consumer prices.
- The aggregate income, after increases and losses, would still be net positive for low-income families. The aggregate would be an increase of $2 billion.
- A minimum wage hike to $10.10 would boost an average family's income by about three percent.
- The hike would also move about 900,000 people above the poverty line. Currently, 45 million people live below the poverty line.
- Raising the minimum wage would cause a small decrease in federal budget deficits for several years following.
To read the full report, see here.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Minnesota Constitution
The Minnesota State Legislature was required to approve the amendment by a simple majority in both legislative chambers to place the amendment on the ballot.
- Alaska Minimum Wage Increase, Ballot Measure 3 (2014)
- Arkansas Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
- California Minimum Wage Increase Initiative (2014)
- Idaho Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
- Illinois Minimum Wage Increase Question (2014)
- Louisiana State Minimum Wage Amendment (2014)
- Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increase Initiative (2014)
- Michigan Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
- Minnesota Inflation Adjusted Minimum Wage Amendment (2014)
- Missouri Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
- Nebraska Minimum Wage Increase, Initiative 425 (2014)
- New Mexico Minimum Wage Amendment (2014)
- South Dakota Increased Minimum Wage, Initiated Measure 18 (2014)
- Washington Uniform Minimum Wage Measure, Initiative 1358 (2014)
- Washington D.C. Minimum Wage Initiative (2014)
- Minnesota Legislature, "SF 2917 Text," accessed March 28, 2014
- Minnesota Legislature, "SF 2917 Status," accessed March 28, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- San Francisco Gate, "Voters could get say on auto-hikes to minimum wage," March 27, 2014
- Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Keep minimum wage out of Minnesota Constitution," April 1, 2014
- Rochester Post Bulletin, "Our View: Keep minimum wage indexing off the ballot," April 2, 2014
- Economics Policy Institute, "Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost," December 19, 2013
- Congressional Budget Office, "The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income," accessed March 28, 2014
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