November 19, 2017-
The Economic Policy Institute has compiled a national look at state laws that prevent local governments from mandating better working conditions in cities and counties than state law provides. As you might expect, Arkansas is among the leaders in state pre-emption laws. We are, after all, a state that pre-empts any local regulation of firearms and is attempting under court challenge to pre-empt protection of civil rights laws for LGBT people.
The chart shows that Arkansas has barred local ordinances in three of five labor areas reviewed — minimum wage, fair schedules and paid leave. Arkansas has no local pre-emption on project labor agreements and prevailing wage requirements. Given the resistance to these ideas generally, it’s hard to imagine a local government supporting them, certainly not, say, the chamber of commerce-controlled Little Rock city government. The specifics: Minimum wage Since 2017 (SB 668), Arkansas has prohibited its cities and counties from raising their local minimum wages above Arkansas’s state minimum wage.