Iowa Bill Would Prevent Localities From Raising the Minimum Wage

By: - March 28, 2017 12:00 am

Protesters advocate for a minimum wage in Las Vegas in November. The Iowa Legislature is the latest to pass legislation that would prevent localities from increasing the minimum wage.

© The Associated Press

A bill heading for Iowa Gov. Branstad’s desk would prohibit cities and counties in the state from raising the local minimum wage or requiring employers to offer paid leave, The Des Moines Register reports. The bill, which Branstad, a Republican, is expected to sign, is the latest of many that legislatures are passing to preempt localities from adopting certain laws and ordinances.

Partisan divides are fueling battles over local control in many states. With most major cities controlled by Democrats and most states by Republicans, city leaders are moving ahead with policy priorities that state leaders don’t like.

Four Iowa counties have approved local minimum wage increases that would be invalidated by the minimum wage bill, if signed into law. The bill would ensure a statewide wage floor of .25 an hour.

The Iowa bill also would prevent cities and counties from regulating how employers schedule workers’ shifts or offering any other benefits that conflict with or go beyond state and federal requirements. And it would prohibit localities from creating a soda tax or banning plastic shopping bags.

The Minnesota Senate is considering a similar bill that would ban cities and counties from raising the minimum wage, requiring employers to offer paid leave or regulating employee schedules. A bill pending in Pennsylvania would prohibit cities from offering paid leave, Bloomberg BNA reports.

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Sophie Quinton

Sophie Quinton writes about fiscal and economic policy for Stateline. Previously, she wrote for National Journal.