In a unanimous order, released one day after it heard the case, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a proposal to raise the city of Minneapolis’ minimum wage to $15 per hour would not appear on November’s general election ballot.
In siding with Minneapolis in its expedited decision, the Court disappointed activists who had garnered thousands of signatures supporting the minimum wage hike. The judges agreed with the city’s argument that a proposal to raise the wage was an improper subject for amending Minneapolis’ charter.
John Stanoch, interim head of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, had urged the city to take the issue to the Minnesota Supreme Court and praised the final decision. In his remarks, he expressed the concerns of local business owners
[A $15 minimum wage] will impact many of our members and be a significant issue for many of them. Our concern from a policy perspective has been if you increase minimum wage hourly for some employees, do others find themselves in a situation where they have reduced hours or jobs that are eliminated in order to allow businesses to absorb the cost of a minimum wage increase
Despite Minneapolis’ victory, it appears that it is only a matter of time before the municipal minimum wage does get raised. Activists have vowed to continue their efforts and have already found many sympathetic allies on the City Council. Even the City Attorney, Susan Segal, does not question the merits of a higher minimum wage. She simply insists that a ballot initiative was an improper way to do so,
This has never been about whether there should be a higher minimum wage. This has always been about the proper process and venue for doing that.