Minnesota Rep. Jason Metsa takes 'Minimum Wage Challenge' - KMSP-TV

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  • MN rep accepts 'Minimum Wage Challenge'

Minnesota Rep. accepts 'Minimum Wage Challenge'

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

Minnesota State Rep. Jason Metsa (DFL-Virginia) is accepting Working America's challenge to live on Minnesota's current minimum wage for five days.

"I can't possibly know the reality of the day-to-day struggles faced by people living on minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 per hour," he said, "but as HF 92 is considered by my fellow lawmakers, this is an attempt to better understand an economic situation many of us have never been exposed to."

Legislation to raise minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9.95 has sparked controversy in the restaurant industry, with many restaurant owners saying the raise would ultimately hurt their servers because the new law does not factor in tip income.

Minnesota Public Radio cited a Minnesota Restaurant Association survey that said 90 percent of its members would increase menu prices and 77 percent would reduce staff hours to account for the adjustment.

Pizza Luce CEO J.J. Haywood and president of the Association told MPR that servers in the metro can currently make $22 an hour and $18 an hour statewide. The group supports keeping servers who make tips at the federal minimum wage.

Metsa will spend the five days working, budgeting, grocery shopping, managing transportation and meeting with constituents to discuss planning a budget while documenting the experience on social media.

Follow Metsa on Twitter: @jasonmetsa

He will be chronicling the challenge within the following events:

Monday, April 8: The Budget: Living for a week on minimum wage

11:30 a.m. at Rep. Metsa's Office, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Tuesday, April 9: The 31-dollar challenge: Grocery shopping for the week

11 a.m., Cubs Foods, 1440 University Ave. W., Saint Paul

Wednesday, April 10: Affordable home-sweet-home: The search for lodging on minimum wage

3 p.m., Rep. Metsa's Office, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Thursday, April 11: Reality check: Meeting with Working America small business owners and minimum wage earners

11:30 a.m., Rep. Metsa's Office, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Friday, April 12: Managing transportation expenses

11 a.m., DOT Cafeteria, 395 John Ireland Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55155

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