Politics

Governor Blocks Cleveland Vote To Raise Minimum Wage

| by Oren Peleg

Just as Cleveland, Ohio, was set to vote on a minimum wage increase to $15 by 2021, Republican Gov. John Kasich has blocked it.

The so-called Petland Bill, which started as a bill allowing pet stores to purchase puppies from anywhere, morphed into a bill that blocked cities from imposing a minimum raise higher than the state’s $8.15, according to The Columbus Dispatch. It also added a provision allowing telecommunications company AT&T to speed up its installation of 5G wireless equipment throughout the state.

Kasich signed the bill into law on Dec. 19.

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley asked the state’s General Assembly for help with the proposed minimum wage increase, according to Cleveland.com.

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"I've expressed my concerns to members of the General Assembly about the harm this would bring upon Cleveland's economy," Kelley said. "And I've told them I would welcome any help that the state could offer."

In 2012, fast food workers went on strike in New York City demanding a wage increase to $15 an hour. Since then, the Fight for 15 movement has gained national traction and brought a collective $61.5 billion wage increase to 19 million workers, notes ThinkProgress.

But a counter-movement has also sprung up. More than 20 laws have passed around the country blocking a minimum wage increase. The American Legislative Exchange Council, which has helped in crafting many of these counter-movement laws, has published a model bill on its website.

“The Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act repeals any local ‘living wage’ mandates, ordinances or laws enacted by political subdivisions of the state,” the bill summary states. “It also prohibits political subdivisions from enacting laws establishing “living wage” mandates on private businesses, including those businesses that have service contracts with and/or receive financial assistance from such political subdivisions of state government.”

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Sources: ThinkProgress, American Legislative Exchange Council, Cleveland.com, The Columbus Dispatch / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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