Posts by Katie Hatt

Ensure Respect for Minimum Wage Laws

(Note: This article is co-authored with Laura Huizar, a staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project in Washington, D.C.) A few weeks ago, the St. Paul City Council introduced a draft ordinance that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’s a good start, but the Council must strengthen the bill’s…

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Counterpoint: Progressive policies in Minnesota are working for workers

(Note: this commentary was published by the Star Tribune on July 26, 2018.) As corporate profits soar, working people are rightly demanding fair wages, thereby inciting the ire and criticism of both conservative policymakers and academics. A recent column (“Higher wage is hurting those it’s supposed to help,” July 23) claimed that Minnesota’s higher minimum wage…

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New Report: Minnesota’s Construction Industry Pulls Ahead of Wisconsin’s

A new report by North Star Policy Institute finds that Minnesota’s construction industry has pulled ahead of Wisconsin’s since the Great Recession, fueled by a strong recovery that has boosted both employment and average worker pay. Minnesota surpassed Wisconsin in total construction employment, while construction industry wage growth in Minnesota has far outpaced that of…

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North Star testimony at PUC Hearing on proposed Bitter Root wind farm

Note: below are my comments delivered at a recent public hearing hosted by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in Canby, MN on the proposed Bitter Root wind farm project, with further content added for submittal to the PUC on July 18. —————————– Your Honor, interested parties, and community members: thank you for the opportunity…

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A Tale of Two Wind Farms

On Thursday, June 28 at 6:00 pm, Minnesotans will attend two simultaneous public hearings on proposed wind energy projects in the Southwest Minnesota communities of Canby and Hendricks. The scheduling of two wind farm hearings at the exact same date and time, just 20 miles apart, speaks to the tremendous wind energy growth that is…

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Catching the Wind: New report examines the impact of local vs. non-local hiring practices on construction of Minnesota wind farms

A new report published by North Star Policy Institute finds that hundreds of new family-supporting jobs and tens of millions of dollars in economic activity are at stake for Southern Minnesota communities based on imminent hiring decisions by wind energy companies and whether new projects are built by local or non-local workers. Minnesota’s wind energy economy…

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Our Top Takeaways from the 2018 Minnesota Legislative Session

The Minnesota House and Senate adjourned late Sunday night, and brought the 2018 legislative session to a close. With Governor Mark Dayton likely to follow through on threats to veto key pieces of legislation, the complete book on the session is still being written.   Here are quick takes from North Star’s three policy experts…

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No Pension, No Security: Abandoning Defined Benefits is Both an Over Reaction and Bad Public Policy

Note: This article first appeared in Citizens League Voice magazine. Remember the Chicken Little fable? Just like the chicken who believed the world was coming to an end, some politicians and researchers are provoking unreasonable fear about the health of Minnesota’s public pension funds. Teachers and government workers have deferred their wages for a guaranteed…

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