ND bill could change minimum wage

Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 6:51 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – State lawmakers will be looking over a bill that, if passed, would increase the state’s minimum wage. The change to the minimum wage would come in stages.

Oak Park Theater’s owner said the first jump to $9 wouldn’t be much of a problem.

“Most of my employees, which I have very few of them, have been here a while so they’re up there in wages. If I have to hire anybody new then it’ll probably affect that‚” said Allan Schon, Oak Park Theater Owner.

Proponents of the bill said the first stage makes North Dakota’s wage competitive with our neighboring states.

“I don’t believe that people can provide for themselves or their families on a $7.25 hourly wage, and I think this will increase people’s livelihoods and help them to live in this state,” said Rep. LaurieBeth Hager, D-Fargo.

The bill proposes increasing it by an additional dollar per hour each year until it hits $15 an hour in 2027.

“You start to get up to that $15 level and you’ll start to have fewer jobs available for those types of workers, and so in the long range I don’t think it’s going to benefit,” said Wayne Paulson, Minot.

Other people we talked to around town agreed that $9 would be helpful, but $15 might be challenging.

The bill was referred to the Industry, Business, and Labor Committee.

The minimum wage was increased to $7.25 in 2009.

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