Posted October 07, 2018 07:12:00 Minnesota residents may now be able to volunteer for a nonprofit if they meet the minimum wage requirement and have experience with a volunteer position.
The state legislature is currently considering a bill that would add an exemption for those with a bachelor’s degree or more and a minimum of five years of volunteer experience.
State Rep. Rick Karpinski, DFL-Minneapolis, sponsored the bill and said he wants to see it passed by the next session.
He said it would help those with low incomes and people who are trying to find a way to make ends meet.
“It’s important that we have this exemption for people who really need it and really need to get involved and volunteer,” Karpinksi said.
“But at the same time, if you are a low-income person and you are working in a shelter or a food bank, we don’t think it’s a good idea to just leave those jobs and go to a volunteer program.”
Minnesota is one of the few states that currently has a mandatory minimum wage law.
That’s not the case in the rest of the country.
Currently, Minnesota has a law requiring people with a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to work 40 hours per week.
The minimum wage is set to increase to $10 an hour in 2018.
But the bill is expected to pass and Karpinsky said the exemption would help the state’s low-wage workers who might be able get some extra income from volunteer positions.
“They can earn a living from their volunteer activities if they have some skills and experience, but the reality is that they are often just not going to be able find that opportunity in other areas of their lives,” Kipinski said.
Karpokes bill also aims to ensure that state agencies, such as the Department of Human Services, provide services to low- and moderate-income people and provide free and low-cost health care for the homeless.
The bill, HB 2065, is now before the House Appropriations Committee and is scheduled to be considered by the full House.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will also consider it in the next few days.
The law would apply to non-profit organizations that meet the requirements and would require them to be run by a board that would be made up of at least three people with minimum levels of experience.
The board would be allowed to set minimum wage levels and pay employees at a “reasonable” level, but it would have the discretion to decide whether the wages should be adjusted for inflation.
Currently Minnesota does not have a minimum-wage law that covers nonprofit organizations.
According to the Minnesota Human Rights Commission, the state has the fourth-highest unemployment rate in the country and has the third-highest poverty rate.
The legislation is similar to a bill introduced in 2014 that would have added a minimum salary to all Minnesota workers and a requirement that non-profits be approved by a state agency before receiving a grant.
That legislation was defeated by lawmakers in the Republican-led Legislature.
The House also voted last year to pass a measure that would require businesses that provide health care to people in need to pay health care costs.
That bill, SB 735, has not been voted on by the Senate or the House, and it is still pending.
“There are other places in the United States where we have an exemption that allows you to get paid,” Karminski said, “and I think it is important to make sure that we give people a voice in this system and ensure that we can keep Minnesota at the forefront of this.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly said that a Minnesota resident would be eligible for the exemption.
The Minnesota Human Right Commission estimates that there are more than 10,000 homeless people in Minnesota.