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Pioneer Editorial: Minimum wage hike goes beyond reason

The Minnesota Legislature is going too far with its plans to raise the state’s hourly minimum wage.

The Senate on Wednesday and the House on Thursday approved the measure that would increase the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour in 2016 and, starting two years later, tie additional hikes to the rate of inflation.

Gov. Mark Dayton has said he supports the increase, which will be phased in over three years.

We agree the state needs to raise the minimum wage, which has not increased since 2005. But it would have been more prudent to match the federal rate of $7.25 instead of making such a drastic hike.

Minnesota businesses have had trouble competing with those in neighboring states because of restrictive taxes, and that is only amplified by the fact that all of our neighboring states match the federal minimum wage.

Going to a $9.50 rate and indexing it to inflation fuels the argument that Minnesota is not a business-friendly state.

Think about it. Most workers earn more than the minimum, and as they gain skills and experience, their wages go up. Those who earn the minumum age usually are new to the workforce, and some can earn additional money through tips.

Proponents of the increase contend that higher wages will propel the state’s economy as workers have more money to spend.

What they don’t take into consideration is that businesses might need to reduce their workforce and/or raise prices to stay afloat.