DES MOINES, Iowa — House Republicans have acted on a bill that could cancel the raises thousands of Iowans already received from their employers as well as future raises for thousands more.
The Iowa House approved HF295 on Thursday evening. The bill is titled as the “Local Preemption Provisions” bill but is better known as the minimum wage bill. It would make it illegal for individual counties or cities to raise their minimum wage above the state level. It would also make four counties that have already done so revert back to the state wage of $7.25/hour. It could follow that employers would act to reverse raises given due to those local wage hikes.
Johnson, Linn and Wapello Counties already require private employers to pay wages higher than the state level. Polk County also approved a stepped increase in its wage. The first step is scheduled to take place on April 1st. Bondurant and Ankeny are both considering opting out of that planned increase.
All of Iowa’s neighboring states except for Wisconsin have higher minimum wages that Iowa. Governor Branstad has said he supports this measure but also supports raising Iowa’s minimum wage. He has not said how high he would like to see the wage raised. Republican leaders in the House and Senate are not offering up bills that would raise the minimum wage.