A Possible End to Iowa's Minimum Wage Mess

Date: February 28, 2017


A bill proposed in the Iowa House of Representatives would keep the state’s minimum wage at $7.25 an hour and undo minimum wage increases that have been approved in several counties.

“We’re trying to provide a seamless business climate in the state of Iowa,” Rep. John Landon told RadioIowa.com.

Gov. Terry Branstad said he supports the effort, but he would potentially like to see a separate bill that would address a modest minimum wage increase statewide.

“I don’t want anything that’s going to destroy jobs, but I do think the present minimum wage has been in place for some time and it may be appropriate to do a modest increase over a period of time, like some of our neighboring states have done,” Branstad said, according to the Gazette.

With four Iowa counties approving minimum wage hikes, but some cities in those counties opting out, Iowa businesses with several locations currently have to deal with multiple minimum wages. The new bill aims to solve that by making the minimum wage $7.25 an hour everywhere across Iowa.

House File 295 would also prevent counties from passing laws regarding employment leave, hiring practices, benefits or scheduling that conflict with state law. It also would keep cities or counties from banning plastic bags, as Dubuque is considering.

“I think it’s impossible for us to anticipate all the things that city councils or that counties might choose to adopt or exclude,” Landon told the Des Moines Register. “And it makes it very difficult for businesses that are multi-county, multi-state to do business and keep track of those.”

“The only thing we’re doing here is asking them not to exceed what’s already set out in the state code, not to establish their own standards,” Landon added.


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