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Moving Minnesota's Public Debate Forward


A weekly column by Executive Director, John Van Hecke

Closing Minnesota 2020: A Farewell from John Van Hecke

Minnesota 2020 moved Minnesota’s public policy debate forward for seven and a half years, from 2007-2014. Hundreds of volunteer writers, researchers and activists helped millions of Minnesotans focus on what really matters: education, healthcare, transportation and economic development. As a result, 2014 Minnesota looks different and better than 2007 Minnesota. Conservative “no new taxes” policies were all the rage. Implementing those policies carried consequences. By 2007, Minnesota’s roads and bridge infrastructure were rapidly crumbling and, in the tragic case of the I-35W bridge, literally falling apart. Minnesota’s school funding was…

Minnesota 2020 Journal: Why We Fight

Today, Friday, August 1, Minnesota’s state minimum wage rises for the first time in 9 years, increasing from $5.15/hour for small employers and $6.15/hour for large employers, both below the federal $7.25/hour minimum wage, to $9.50/hour. The wage hike didn’t happen casually. It took a concerted, intensive, multilayered effort and almost failed multiple times. Minnesota’s minimum wage history challenges Minnesota’s progressive self-identity. Before the 2005 minimum wage increase, previous action occurred in 1998 when Minnesota’s minimum wage moved to $5.15/hour. Before that, it was increased in 1991. While it’s true…