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The battle to block state preemption of local minimum wage laws

August 6, 2019



August 5, 2019-

The Fight For $15 movement has won some important victories since it was launched seven years ago. Just last month, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives voted to raise the current $7.25 hourly federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, though the proposal is expected to face resistance in the Republican-controlled Senate. In addition, 18 states nationwide, including Arkansas and Florida, began the year with higher minimum wage laws. Today, 29 states and the District of Columbia have set minimum wages higher than the current federal standard. But 16 others have minimum wages equivalent to federal minimum, while five states, all in the South — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee — have no state minimum wage at all, so the federal wage applies.

North Carolina is among the states with an hourly minimum wage of $7.25, a standard that hasn’t been raised in 10 years. Though hiking the minimum wage would benefit over 1.6 million workers in the state, the Republican-controlled legislature has repeatedly refused to do so. At the same time, North Carolina is among 25 states that have passed laws preempting local governments from raising the minimum wage in their jurisdictions.

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