Flynn spends last day on the job pushing for minimum wage hike

Archbishop Harry Flynn
Archbishop Harry Flynn retires today as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He turned 75 today, the customary retirement age for bishops.
MPR Photo/Greta Cunningham

Archbishop Flynn says he is not an economist, but he is concerned about the dignity of people.

Flynn supports a bill passed by the Minnesota House this week that would increase the state's current minimum wage of $6.15 an hour by 75 cents in July. The archbishop says people shouldn't need a second or third job to make ends meet.

"True human dignity means that people not only focus on their material survival, but that they have time and opportunity to participate in their social, cultural, and spiritual development as well," Flynn said.

Archbishop Flynn says Minnesota does better than many states on several quality of life indicators. He says the minimum wage should reflect those values.

The state Senate passed a different version of a minimum wage bill last year, and a conference committee will meet next week to try to reach a compromise.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has said he favors an increase in the state's minimum wage, but he can't support the House bill since it contains an automatic inflation increase.

Harry Flynn steps down after spending 13 years as the head of the archdiocese. His successor is Archbishop John Nienstadt, who had headed the diocese of New Ulm.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.