ND House Votes Down Minimum Wage Increase


Rep. Steve Zaiser introduced HB1414 which would have mandated annual increases in North Dakota’s minimum wage indexed to inflation as calculated by North Dakota State University. It was debated on the floor of the House today and voted down by a 24 – 70 vote.

Here’s video of the floor debate.

Zaiser and fellow Democrat Rep. Bill Amerman both spoke in favor of the bill, citing the need to help the needy. “There’s always a segment of the population that needs their government,” said Rep. Amerman. “They need us to bump them up a little bit.”

But Rep. Rick Becker, who carried the bill out of committee, made the key argument noting that the minimum wage inflates labor costs which, in turn, makes entry-level jobs more scarce. If you’re a young or low-skill worker it’s harder to get a job when the government keeps inflating the minimum amount businesses can pay you.

Far from helping young and low-skill workers, it hurts them by making fewer jobs available.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • Lianne

    I have to admit that our legislators are doing a few things correctly~this being one of those things.

  • nimrod

    The economy has made the minimum wage irrelevant in Western ND. A free society should let the economy dictate all wages.

  • Sue

    Dication of wage and benefits. Sounds like one major union. No more need for a right to work state. At least they step off on one venue for a minute.

  • John_Wayne_American

    min wage is a hoax that only pushes up the pay scale on the whole workforce. the guy just starting gets bumped up so the guy that’s been 6 mo gets moved up, then the guy a year up, so on it goes.

    and that’s why the unions like it so much, their employees all get a raise, and the Dems get their donations.

    • borborygmi

      Considering in North Dakota that very few are minimally paid I really doubt if the min wage would push up the whole work force. What a bunch of blather. Oil and the lack of manpower is pushing up wages (and the cost of living) more then anyone get a slight bump in minimum wage. I can’t believe you actually can believe yourself when you say such bs. “Oh my the guy making minimum wage is making 7.85 an hour I will have to ask for a raise from my $25/hour. It isn’t fair. John_Pinocchio_Wayne_ AMerican.

  • http://nofreelunch.areavoices.com/ Kevin Flanagan

    Everyone is free to earn as much as they can.

  • tomorrowclear

    Raising the minimum wage does not raise unemployment. I suspect Rob knows there is no empirical evidence of this. His followers, probably not.

    • sbark

      Yup, no evidence …..Not in ObamaVille anyways, its all been destroyed.
      but hey……..look in google, its easy to use.

      Minimum Wage Increase Leads to Higher Teen Unemployment Rate …
      online.wsj.com/…/SB1000142405297020344010457440282027866…Cached – Similar
      You +1’d this publicly. UndoOct 3, 2009 – The Wall Street Journal writes that the minimum wage increase has led to … As the minimum wage has risen, the gap between the overall unemployment rate … Sure enough, the mandated increase to $7.25 took effect in July, …

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Actually after the minimum wage hikes in 2007 unemployment among young and low skill workers hit all-time highs.

      But I suppose we’ll just ignore that inconvenient truth.

      • Guest

        Just like Rob ignores the fact unemployment and minimum wage have had an almost inverse relationship in the last two decades. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_RBGVNzE33VE/SbilWHyCKLI/AAAAAAAAAL8/FNhAJeqj7Og/s400/unemploy-vs-min-wage-2.jpg

        The consensus is at worst, minimum wage laws have a minimal effect on unemployment. http://www.economist.com/node/8090466

        But by all means, Rob, keep ignoring inconvenient truths and hypocritically denouncing others for doing the same. What a hack!

        • slackwarerobert

          On a large company probably doesn’t matter, but with all obama’s other taxes, fees, and fines, it is the straw that will break a lot of companies. Make it voluntary, companies can put a little “I’m an idiot” sign in the window when they agree to pay to much, then we can see who can afford it, and who is being cheap, and who has common sence.

      • tomorrowclear

        Sorry Robert, even economists from the right side of the spectrum have been forced to acknowledge there is no evidence that raising the minimum wage results in unemployment hikes. As I said, I you know this already. You just count on the fact that the dullards who you call your audience will never bother to investigate such things.

  • KJUU

    A disingenuous argument for North Dakota though. We can’t hire anyone worth much for above minimum wage now — there won’t be some lack of jobs due to an increase in entry-level wages. Price hikes, yes; business closures, of course; and other consequences that are poo-pooed by the utopians. But here in North Dakota as long as there are retail/food service/hospitality businesses… there will be entry level jobs.

    Not the same as the rest of the country.

  • sbark

    Add in the bill for the milk for kids in school that cant afford it. Oh, by the way, didnt secondary educ just get millions from the state, and they get their full snort of property taxation on top of it all……….
    …….but they just cant let loose of 30 bucks here and there to supply a few cartons of milk ?
    Maybe the schools should approach a few key persons in local business—–I’d say without a doubt, they’d have the money ………….without involving Govt.

    Then they could keep their precious property tax to blow on 20k electronic signs that take peoples eyes off of a State Hwy in front of a school alot longer than the ave. cell call.

  • Stuart

    How many of the people that are on this site have created any good paying jobs yourselves , speak up., job with good benefits,hospitalization ,paid sick days paid days for holidays ? How many?

    if you are pro minimum wage increase it might be helpful to have that knowledge under you belt to know the dynamics of labor work ethic and dependability. The labor work ethic is not ystatic.

    Hiring isn’t easy and neither is putting more burdens on business owners. If those people looking for a job don’t want these jobs, they can quit, and this causes the business to have to raise the pay scale when you can’t keep help. Many of the jobs are labor intensive .

    But from my research its those that project it’s simple to accomplish this without knowing what a business expenses are, then deciding what the wage increase should be.Endorsed Most Union people I know think every Job should pay a living wage. This is a dream and propaganda put out by unions. Class war fare at its best. But they are working in a government jobs that depend on tax payers for their welfare and contract benefits.

    • slackwarerobert

      Then you add in all the criminal requirements , paying into “unemployment”
      insurance when there is no way you can collect it. Paying taxes on money you haven’t even made and praying you don’t make to much more than what you hope to make. government coming after you for taxes a subcontractor didn’t pay them, even though you paid them an amount that reflects they would pay their taxes. And the ever present danger of crossing a state line and having a whole new government claws getting in your pockets.

      • John_Wayne_American

        you forgot that you also are blessed with paying taxes as income, for inventory you have on the shelves, out on the lot or in a warehouse, as if it were just 50 dollar bills strapped to a pallet. I always loved that rule.

  • borborygmi

    lets see labor costs are going up because of the boom a lot faster and a lot more then say a 50cent raise in min. . Yet this minimum raise in the minimum wage for approximately 6000 people ( i think that was the number I heard on Capitol Report) is the main driver , ” the minimum wage inflates labor costs” RIIIIGHT. Hmm .$50 an hour would be $20 a week or 80$ a month or $960 a year. Yep that is going to break the bank on small businesses not to mention I doubt if the minimum wage earner is even full time. Oh well at least the Conservatives will help pay for his welfare as long as he passed the drug test.

    • John_Wayne_American

      900-1000 bucks per employee per year doesn’t sound that bad, until you figure a place like Applebees has 70-80 employees, lets take 70 grand out of your pocket and see if you’d really want to hire a few extra employees to cover a shift, or whether you’d just run a bit understaffed and make those that are working, work a bit harder. I’ll gar-en-dam T ya that those employees will “earn” that extra 50 cents.

      on the other hand, 50 cents an hour to the worker is a whopping 20 dollars a week to the employee, if they actually worked 40 hours a week which most don’t, so now were creating all this fuss over at most 10-15 dollars a week increase. Whoopee! They will be running to the bank to cash those checks.

      In reality if you raised the min wage up too much, many employee’s would cut back on the hours they work so they can get TANF and CHIP and childcare, and rent assistance. Particularly those that live on the east side of the red river, They seem to watch those income levels pretty closely and those employees that know the system. Well they know the system.

      What you could do Mr. “lets spend the business mans money” is leave a bigger tip each and every time you go out, or get a hair cut, or the pizza guy stops by. Then you, can feel better knowing that the delivery guy or waitress is getting her “fair share”

  • John_Wayne_American

    So an employee goes to a job interview, the person doing the hiring tell the employee we will pay you X dollars per hour for every hour you make widgets. The employee then has to decide, am I worth more than that X dollar figure? if yes he declines the job offer and searches for a better paying job.

    Nobody drags people off the street at gunpoint to force them to work for Min Wage. If the applicant thinks it over and says yes my labor rate with my limited skills is only worth X, than that is his price.

    Why does Gov. have any right to set that value?

    Other than the fact that the Dems count on the lower information folks to vote for them, and by artificially raising wages, (really just arguing for them, as they know they don’t have much of a chance of passing,) they then have a political carrot to drag those folks out to the voting booth.

    • slackwarerobert

      Well government does, think the crook lost his court case they can force him to work. It has never been about helping the low wage worker, cutting payroll taxes would do that better. It is about those union contracts tied to the minimum wage rate and bumping you into a higher tax bracket, or at least pay more in taxes. Tax tables don’t change with the minimum wage.

  • WOOF

    Which union contracts are tied to the minimum wage rate?

  • jamermorrow

    I have worked with many people that don’t even deserve minimum wage. My guess is we all have worked with people that don’t deserve minimum wage. The marginal worker is the one most affected by raising minimum wage. The minimum wage is and will always be zero. If you don’t have a job because you are not worth the artificial minimum wage than you will make zero.