Advance Good Jobs By Allowing Localities to Increase Their Wages

Costs to live, work, and raise a family across the country can vary drastically not only across states, but within states. To address this, dozens of localities from Arizona to Minnesota have set local minimum wages above the state minimum wage to reflect local costs of living and help ensure workers can afford housing, childcare and other necessities. In contrast, over half of U.S. states prohibit localities from setting local minimum wages that reflect the local cost of living. The Allow Good Jobs Act protects local minimum wage laws to help localities attract workers and ensure that all workers are able to have better jobs, support their families, and live healthier lives, and to prevent statewide special interests from stripping local workers of job protections....

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Frequently Asked Questions
Who does this policy help?
This policy helps all workers and their families by allowing communities to adopt wages that better match local housing and other living costs and by preventing statewide special interests from stripping local workers of job protections. It also helps businesses benefit from a more productive and hard working workforce, lower staff turnover, better service, and better health outcomes.
Is this high cost for the state?
No. In fact, allowing localities to set minimum wages higher than the state minimum wage would more than pay for itself by lowering state and local costs for public programs that support underpaid workers, generating more state income taxes, and increasing overall earnings, leading to a stronger overall economy.
Partners
  • Workers and their families
  • Employment advocates
  • Fair pay advocates
  • Businesses that support fair pay
Opposition
  • High-powered special interest groups that oppose fair pay
Model Policy
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SECTION 1 (TITLE):
This act shall be known as the STATE Allow Good Jobs Act
SECTION 2 (PURPOSE):
This act protects local minimum wage laws to help more workers afford to live, work and raise a family across STATE.
SECTION 3 (PROVISIONS):

(A) WHEREAS:
-(i) The cost of living can vary significantly from one community to another in STATE;
-(ii) Allowing local minimum wage laws higher than the minimum wage required by state law offers local governments a way to address the particular minimum wage needs of workers and businesses in their jurisdiction;
-(iii) Studies of local minimum wage laws have shown that such laws can increase earnings for workers without negatively affecting employment;
-(iv) Therefore, it is the intent of the legislature to address the needs of workers across the state by allowing local governments to adopt local minimum wage laws higher than the state minimum when local governments determine that such laws are in the best interest of their jurisdiction.
(B) Accordingly,
-(i) A local government may enact through its governing body or, when available, through its initiative or referendum powers, a law establishing a minimum wage higher than the state minimum wage for individuals performing work within the local government’s jurisdiction.
-(ii) If both a [county or other encompassing local government unit] and a [city, town] within that [county or other encompassing local government unit] have adopted a law described in the above section, the provisions of the law establishing the highest minimum wage shall prevail.