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'They can afford it': Dayton pushing for $10 minimum wage at MSP airport

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Gov. Mark Dayton intends to propose a minimum wage of $10 an hour for workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport – $2 higher than the current state minimum.

In a speech to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota on Wednesday, the governor said he would urge the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) to raise its minimum wage to $10 "immediately," according to the Star Tribune.

"They deserve it, the airline industry can afford it, and one thing about raising the minimum wage at the airport is it's not going to be a threat to move to South Dakota or China or someone else," he added. "It's our airport, it's a public facility and it ought to better reflect the values of the citizenry."

The current minimum wage in Minnesota is $8 an hour, but that will rise to $9 in August and will rise again to $9.50 an hour in summer 2016.

MPR reports that Dayton's comments come after he was inspired by the struggles of minimum wage-earning airport worker Ibrahim Mohamed, whom he appointed as a MAC commissioner last month.

But Rep. Tony Albert, R-Prior Lake, is sponsoring a bill that would prevent different arms of government from implementing a minimum wage different from the state standard, telling MPR: "We have a state minimum wage, and that should be sufficient and satisfactory."

The Associated Press reports that Dayton is charged with appointing members of the MAC. It adds that for every dollar per hour salaries go up, it will mean an extra $2,000 per year income for a full-time worker.

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