March 9, 2018-
On the first day of the 2018 legislative session in Minnesota, lawmakers reinstated a committee, which included members of both the House and Senate, to discuss House File No. 600. It was a procedural motion that went mostly unnoticed, but in doing so, the most contentious debate of the last session was quietly renewed: whether to pre-empt local governments from setting their own wage and labor rules and other policies.
Pre-emption became a top priority in 2017 for Republican legislative majorities in Minnesota and in other states across the nation, as they moved to block more progressive city governments from increasing their own minimum wages and setting new paid leave policies that don’t match up with state regulations. Minnesota lawmakers also introduced proposals to pre-empt cities on a host of other policy issues, from trying to ban the use of plastic bags in retail stores to becoming sanctuary cities.