House to tackle minimum wage proposal

Legislation allowing employers to pay tipped workers a lower minimum wage will get another hearing Monday in the Minnesota House.

The state's minimum wage will increase to $9.50 an hour in 2016. But the measure before the House Ways and Means Committee would allow restaurants to keep servers at the current $8 rate, as long as their combined earnings — with tips — exceed $12 an hour.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, the bill's chief sponsor, said he already has the support of some DFL lawmakers. But he needs more for the bill to become law. "We recognize the fact that it's going to take bipartisan support to make that happen," Garofalo said. "So, I've communicated to them that any suggestion they have, my door is open, and I'm willing to consider any idea that moves the bill forward."

The House bill cleared its initial committee hurdle two weeks ago, but there's no Senate companion. DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has said it's unlikely the Senate will pass it.

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