Another City Adopts a $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

St. Paul, Minnesota

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Connecting state and local government leaders

Nearly one-third of workers in St. Paul, Minnesota will be seeing pay increases, eventually.

City leaders in St. Paul, Minnesota on Wednesday approved a phased-in $15 per hour minimum wage, a move that will give a pay raise to 56,000 workers in the city, nearly one-third of the local workforce, starting in 2020.

Boosting the minimum wage had been a campaign priority of Mayor Melvin Carter, who signed the legislation immediately after the city council approved it.

"This ordinance is the culmination of the intensive study by the Citizen League task force, public meetings across the city, and research—reflecting what we heard and what we learned,” St. Paul Councilmember Chris Tolbert said in a statement when it was introduced last month.

The details of the ordinance, according to the mayor’s office:

Upon adoption, the City of Saint Paul Minimum Wage Ordinance sets the minimum wage at $15.00 per hour, indexed to inflation. The phase-in period will begin in 2020. The phase-in period length for employers will be dependent on business size, as determined by numbers of employees. Employers will be classified into one of three groups - large, small, and micro businesses.

A large business will be considered any business that employs more than 100 persons. Starting in 2020, large businesses will be on a 5-year phase-in, reaching a $15 minimum wage by July 1, 2023. The minimum wage for large businesses will be indexed to inflation each subsequent year starting in 2024.

A small business will be considered any business that employs 100 or fewer persons. Starting in 2020, small businesses will be on a 7-year phase-in, reaching a $15 minimum wage by July 1, 2025. The minimum wage for small businesses will be indexed to inflation each subsequent year starting in 2026.

A micro business will be considered any business that employs 5 or fewer persons. Starting in 2020, micro businesses will be on a 9-year phase-in, reaching a $15 minimum wage by July 1, 2027. The minimum wage for micro businesses will be indexed to inflation each subsequent year starting in 2028.

The City of Saint Paul will lead the phase-in citywide with its own employees through a 3-year period starting on January 1, 2020, and reaching a $15 minimum wage starting July 1, 2022.

Michael Grass is Executive Editor of Route Fifty and is based in Seattle.

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