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Iowa lawmakers seek to preempt local action on minimum wage, civil rights

February 9, 2017

The Gazette

Rod Boshart

February 8, 2017

DES MOINES — Business representatives Wednesday applauded a House proposal to preempt cities and counties from going beyond statewide standards for minimum wages and civil rights, while critics blasted the bill as an overreach that flies in the face of home rule and local control. “We think there needs to be a clear policy across the state, not a patchwork,” said Jessica Harder, a lobbyist for the Iowa Association of Business & Industry, who was joined by representatives of retailers, city chambers of commerce and casinos in supporting the bill to bar local entities from establishing minimum wage levels or employment regulations, marketing or consumer merchandise sales restrictions, or adopting civil rights ordinances that go above and beyond what the Legislature and governor have set as a statewide standard.

“It’s kind of an inconsistent policy to have,” she added. The section of House Study Bill 92 dealing with any terms or conditions of employment that exceed or conflict with the requirements of federal or state minimum or living wage rate stated that any local ordinance or resolution in conflict with the preemption slated to take effect upon the governor’s signature would be void and unenforceable after that enactment date.

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