On Wednesday, Minnesota Rep. Tom Anzelec, a Democrat from Balsam Township, announced he plans to introduce a constitutional amendment that would raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2015.
The amendment also seeks to tie future increases of minimum wage to the rate of inflation, and is one of two routes lawmakers will consider during the 2014 legislative session. Rep. Ryan Winkler, a Democrat representing Golden Valley and chairs the House Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs, plans to introduce a bill that will raise the minimum wage as well.
The proposed amendment would pose a question to the voters in the 2014 General Election ballot and would 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?"
The method of calculating inflation would be attached to the annual implicit price deflator rate prepared each year by the U.S. Department of Commerce for use by local governments and municipalities, according to a release.
"I think political gamesmanship prevents our Legislature from making progress on bread-and-butter economic issues far too often," said Anzelc. "My amendment is an effective way to cut through the bickering and give hard-working Minnesotans more security so they can provide for themselves and their families. This is about doing right by the people."
Earlier this month, voters in New Jersey approved a similar measure that passed with over 60 percent support. If Anzelc's amendment makes it on the ballot and is approved by voters, Minnesota would become the sixth state to add a minimum wage to its constitution and the 12th to implement automatic hikes, according to data maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures.