Branstad plans to halt, not help minimum wage at Statehouse

Don’t hold your breath for Branstad’s support of a statewide minimum wage increase – it’s not going to happen. At least not a bill that puts the needs of everyday people before big corporations and industry interests.

At his weekly press conference on Monday, Branstad discussed his plan to meet with Iowa Senate and House leaders on the statewide issue of raising the minimum wage. But his comments were vague at best.

What was clear was his intent to halt any county that has or is considering raising their county wages.  

While the governor is opposed to having individual counties approve minimum wage increases, Branstad is not making any specific commitments to raising the minimum wage. – Ben Hammes, Branstad spokesperson

So far four counties – Johnson, Linn, Polk, and Wapello – have raised their county minimum wages to at least $10.10/hr or more by 2019. Many other counties have said they are interested but would rather the State took action.

Branstad plans to take action. But not in the way county leaders and Iowa workers are hoping for. The governor is adamantly opposed to the county raises and would like the State Legislature to pass measures to preempt such measures from continuing.

Preemption clauses prevent local governments from progressing on specific issues like the minimum wage. If the Legislature were to pass preemption this session, all county raises would be null and void; and any future local efforts would be spoiled.

Branstad also appeared to leave the door open for keeping the minimum wage at $7.25 an hour and having the Legislature simply approve a measure to block individual counties from raising the pay for low-income workers. – Des Moines Register

Don’t be fooled by a hopeful headline. Read between the lines – Governor Branstad does not support low wage workers.

We know what all workers need in Iowa, Governor Branstad, – a living wage of at least $15/hr and cost of living adjustments, with no exemptions or preemption.

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