Working Minnesota

Minimum Wage Challenge

Minimum Wage Challenge leads to victory for workers!

April 10, 2014

Thanks in part to the Minimum Wage Challenge, Minnesota will raise its minimum wage from $6.15 to $9.50 an hour for most workers by 2016. The decision will give 357,000 Minnesota workers a much-needed raise.

Working America began its Minimum Wage Challenge in an effort to shed a light on the everyday struggles of living on a minimum wage.

Representatives ran into several hurdles as they tried to buy food, find a place to live, and get to work on a $6.15-an-hour wage.

It was our hope that challenging politicians to live on the state minimum wage for a week would prompt action to raise the wage and put more money into the pockets of hard-working Minnesota residents.

And that’s exactly what happened.

The bill was passed in the Senate April 9, and on April 10 it passed by a vote of 71-60 in the House.

Workers can expect to see an increase to $8 an hour beginning in August and to $9 an hour in August 2015.

Congratulations, Minnesota workers, you’re getting a raise!

State Representative John Lesch documents his week living on minimum wage and the challenges he's facing. Read more >>>

Over the past week, five Minnesota lawmakers have taken the Working America Minimum Wage Challenge, calling attention to the struggles of low wage workers by living one week on a minimum wage budget. Read more >>>

When a snow storm slows down the state, minimum wage earners are hurt the most, having to scramble to find child care, or risk not going to work and earning a paycheck. Read more >>>

Minnesota State Rep. Karen Clark spends an evening trying to find affordable housing with a budget of just $375 a month. Can she do it? Read more >>>

All too often, political issues in Minnesota are presented as pitting the interests of the Twin Cities metro area against those of the rest of the state, also known as “Greater Minnesota. Read more >>>

Day 3: What type of housing does a minimum wage get you?

February 20, 2014

Today, representatives participating in the minimum wage challenge set out to find a place to live.

Housing is a critical issue for low-wage earners, and today representatives will see exactly what type of home their $7.25-an-hour wage can get them. Under the budget, $359 a month will go toward housing. That’s roughly only $11.97 a night.

Like many working Americans, the participants have the freedom to choose any particular dwelling. However, like many working Americans, the housing they choose largely is dependent on their new wages. Exactly what type of housing is available for $11.97 a night remains to be seen, but follow along the progress of the Challenge with us.

The Minimum Wage Challenge is Working America’s effort to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour. Help us give hardworking Minnesotans a much-needed pay increase by signing the petition here.

State Representatives went grocery shopping today to see what they can afford on a normal minimum wage earner's budget of $5 a day. Read more >>>

A new poll in Minnesota shows that 79% of Minnesotans support raising the minimum wage. Read more >>>

Day 2: Dinner’s served—representatives go grocery shopping with their minimum wage earnings

February 19, 2014

Today is the second day of the Minnesota Minimum Wage Challenge, and the representatives are putting their budgets to good use.

Reps have $35 to spend on food for the week, and today they’ll head to local grocery stores to answer the question: Just how much food can one person afford on a $7.25-an-hour paycheck? You can follow their journey here.

The Minimum Wage Challenge is our effort to raise the minimum wage to a livable $9.50. Help us give hardworking Minnesota residents a much-needed pay increase by signing the petition here.

Five Minnesota politicians aren’t just talking the talk about raising the minimum wage, they are walking the walk too. Read more >>>

Starting today, Minnesota State Reps. Karen Clark (Minneapolis), Frank Hornstein (Minneapolis), John Lesch (St. Paul), Jason Metsa (Virginia), and Shannon Savick (Wells) are doing the unthinkable and pledging to live on the current $7.25 minimum wage for one week in order to push for a higher minimum wage of $9.50 an hour. Read more >>>

 Working Minnesota is asking community leaders and elected officials to take the “Minimum Wage Challenge” for one week, Feb. 18-25. They’re going to find out — in Mankato, Hibbing, Rochester, Moorhead, Duluth and other communities — what it’s really like to plan a budget, buy groceries, find a place to live and manage transportation on just $290 each week. Read more >>>

Rally to Raise the Minnesota Minimum Wage

Please join Working Minnesota and our coalition partners on the first day of legislative session to let our elected leaders know: Minnesota needs a raise!

Tuesday, February 25
4:00 p.m.


State Capitol Rotunda
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155


Follow Us!

Sign Up
Remember me

Sign Up