Minimum wage hikes by cities getting rolled back, blocked by state lawmakers

As some large U.S. cities raise, or consider creating, their minimum wages, country lawmakers are pushing back with statutes that void or block the local endeavours.

Preemption bills, as they are known, are growing more common, mainly in nations where Republicans control the legislature and governorship. They are being drafted and passed in response to moves by city officials most of them Democrats to create the minimum wage and expand paid sick leave, among other things.

St. Louis city officials passed a city regulation in 2015 creating the minimum wage to $10 an hour and Birmingham, Ala ., approved a $10.10 base wage.

But in both cases, state legislators put a stop to the moves through preemption measures that prohibit district and municipal governments from setting their own minimum wages.

Many city officials in the throes of such combats ensure preemption laws as an insidious tool that conservatives are utilizing to usurp their authority and tie their hands.

We have a poverty level of almost 25 percent here in Kansas City, Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed, a vocal supporter of a higher minimum wage, said to Fox News. Folks need to induce more money in order to live, enjoy and raise families in Kansas City — $ 7.75 isn’t enough. The average apartment renter would need to make at least $14 an hour to afford to live on their own.

We have a poverty level of almost 25 percentage here in Kansas City. Folks need to induce more money in order to live, enjoy and create families in Kansas City.

– Kansas City( Mo .) Councilman Jermaine Reed

State Rep. Jason Chipman, a Missouri Republican who sponsored a House bill forbidding local government from establishing a minimum wages, told Fox News that creating it will end up hurting people more than helping them.

When you create the cost to the employers, theyre going to raise prices, Chipman said. Its not going to be overnight, but eventually it will filter to everything else, expanded in rent, utilities, food, attire. They will go up and people will end up right back in the same place.

State legislatures are not the only venue that has been friendly to adversaries of minimum wage hikes; in some cases, the courts have been supportive. In Florida, for instance, three business groups the Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and the Florida Chamber of Commerce filed a suit in December against a new Miami Beach law creating the compulsory minimum wages to $10.31 by Jan. 1, 2018, and then by$ 1 per year until 2021.

In May, a Miami-Dade circuit court judge annulled the citys ordinance.

In a February report on the growing trend, the National League of Cities told 24 nations had preemptive laws or ordinances that block local governments from creating the minimum wage.

As of the 2016 election cycle, Republican have 25 government trifectas, meaning they control both legislative chambers and the governors office, while Democrats have trifectas in six states and control a larger portion of city halls.

When you create the cost to employers, they’re going to raise prices…they will go up and people will end up right back in the same place.

– Missouri State Rep. Jason Chipman, adversary of local minimum wage increases

The federal minimum wages of $7.25 has not been increased since 2009. That resulted most states to raise the minimum, many of them to less than $10.

Many efforts by local officials to raise the wage beyond the state rate call for incremental increases over a period of years, some of them eventually going to $15 per hour.

Seattle, which in 2014 became one of the first U.S. cities to pass a measure raising the minimum wage with a goal of reaching $15 by 2021 is seen as a testing ground by both sides of the issue.

But analysis of potential impacts of Seattles minimum wage hike to $13 is not very clear-cut, with at least one analyse indicating a positive effect and others just the opposite. A new survey from the University of California, Berkeley argues that Seattles wage hike has boosted pay for eatery workers without expensing jobs.

But another examine by the University of Washington found that Seattles minimum wage hike has cut affected workers hours by an average of 9 percent and reduced net earnings by an average of $125 per month.

These preemptive statutes are being motivated by special interest groups, and that undercuts the rights of voters.

– Franco Ripple, spokesman, Campaign to Defend Local Solutions

Elizabeth Llorente is Senior Reporter for, and can be reached at Elizabeth.Llorente @Foxnews. com. Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Llorente .

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