Iowa House debates ban on hourly wage changes at local level

Pay check

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has begun debating a Republican-backed bill that would ban local governments from raising the minimum hourly wage, effectively revoking some wage increases for low-income workers.

The chamber began debate Thursday afternoon, March 9. It’s unclear when a vote will happen, though Democrats can’t stop the measure’s eventual passage. It also has support in the GOP-led Senate.

The legislation would prohibit cities or counties from adopting or enforcing ordinances that raise the minimum hourly wage above the state level of $7.25. That would override wage increases approved in Polk, Johnson, Linn and Wapello counties.

Republicans say the bill will add uniformity for employers, and argue the Iowa Constitution already prohibits local governments from individually raising wages. Democrats say the measure hurts workers, especially those who will have their pay cut.