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Dayton doesn't support minimum-wage changes

Gov. Mark Dayton does not support changing the minimum-wage law passed last session to recognize tips, a spokesman said Monday.

Dayton "does not support or advocate any changes to that law at this time," said Press Secretary Matt Swenson.

Swenson made the comments in reaction to the Political Notebook column published in the Post-Bulletin on Monday, which quoted the governor telling the newspaper's editorial board that the minimum wage law may need to be "fine tuned." He made the comments while talking about his sons' concerns that tipped employees should be treated differently. Andrew and Eric Dayton own the Minneapolis restaurant, "The Bachelor Farmer."

Dayton told the editorial board, "It may be that we have to fine tune it. I understand my sons' frustration with the tip credit issue. They make a very articulate case."

Swenson said Dayton intended to explain the restaurant owners' point of view without indicating he would support a change.


In Minnesota, tips don't count toward calculation of minimum wage, which means servers can make well above the minimum.

A proposal from the Minnesota Restaurant Association last session would have established a "tipped employee tier."

Under that system, an employee whose wages plus tips equaled at least $12 an hour would stay at the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour plus their tips. An employee whose wages and tips were less than $12 per hour would get the new rate of $9.50 plus their tips.

The Legislature and Dayton enacted a law last session raising the state's minimum wage for large businesses to $9.50 by 2016.

The tipped employee tier was not included in the law, but Rep. Jason Isaacson, DFL-Shoreview, said he intends to propose a bill next session that would recognize tips in calculating the minimum wage.

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