Republican Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law Monday banning minimum wage and employee benefit increases in Oklahoma cities.
The bill declares “state preemption authority,” stipulating that “no municipality or other political subdivision of this state shall establish a mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days, whether paid or unpaid, or a minimum wage rate which an employer would be required to pay or grant employees.”
The legislation passed amid efforts by a state attorney and labor union to collect 80,000 signatures on a petition calling for a $10.10 minimum wage instead of Oklahoma’s current level of $7.25. The petition mirrors President Obama’s proposal to raise the federal minimum wage.
Supporters of the bill highlight the typically impermanent, entry-level nature of minimum wage jobs and noted that a wage hike would eliminate many of these jobs while harming businesses.
The bill “protects our economy from bad public policy that would destroy Oklahoma jobs,” Fallin argued, as it “would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.”
Heritage analyst James Sherk concurs, noting that:
In inflation adjusted terms the minimum wage hit a high of $8.28 in 1968. Minimum wage hike advocates propose raising the minimum wage well above its historical all-time high, during a weak economy and when Obamacare has already raised labor costs. That would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.
This story was produced by The Foundry’s news team. Nothing here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of The Heritage Foundation.