Increasing the Minimum Wage
The minimum wage had not had an increase in the past nine years. Within the first five months of the 110th Congress, we were able to come together in a bi-partisan fashion and finally pass an increase to the minimum wage. We know that a minimum wage increase was vital because America's families have seen their real income drop significantly since 2000, while health insurance, gasoline, home heating, and attending college have all increased dramatically.
In the Minnesota State House I supported an increase in the minimum wage and saw the impact it had on working families in Minnesota . This long overdue increase is likely to affect between 13-15 million individuals throughout the nation and approximately 135,000 Minnesotans.
With the passage of H.R. 2206, the minimum wage will increase by $2.10 over two years from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour.
The Employee Free Choice Act
I believe one of our most basic fundamental rights as American citizens is the right to organize in our workplace. This right is so important because it represents the best opportunity for working families to get ahead through bargaining with their employers for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Workers who belong to unions earn 30% more than non-union workers; are 63% more likely to have employer-provided health care; and 4 times more likely to have guaranteed pensions.
That is why I enthusiastically supported, worked for, spoke out on, and proudly voted for the Employee Free Choice Act. This bill will go to great lengths in restoring dignity to the American workplace.