Rolla lawmaker wants to raise the minimum wage

Jan 11, 2017

Rep. Marvin Nelson (D-Rolla).
Credit Courtesy Rep. Nelson

The North Dakota Legislature will consider a bill to raise the state’s minimum wage.

Rep. Marvin Nelson (D-Rllla) wants to raise the minimum to $9.25 an hour. The bill would tie further increases in the minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index.

Nelson said he’s hoping raising the minimum wage will attract workers to rural North Dakota.

"It probably isn't going to have much of an effect in a Bismarck or Fargo for most people," Nelson said. "But in some rural areas, you have people in jobs because of geography. It doesn't pay for them to drive an hour to work. So they're trapped, and they're struggling."

"I do believe the lower wages paid in a lot of smaller towns are part of the reason rural North Dakota is dying," Nelson said. "People finally pack up, and they move to Bismarck or Fargo."

The current state minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.