On Thursday, February 11th, a bill, HB174, to prohibit cities from raising the minimum wage was passed by House committee and heads to the House floor. The immediate impact of this bill is to block Birmingham’s wage increase from going into effect March 1st. But -this isn’t just about Birmingham.
This is about the State taking away from local authority the right to determine the economic needs of their citizens.
The bill sponsors say they don’t want to make payrolls complicated for companies, or that it will hurt jobs, but the fact is it keeps more money in our communities instead of for dividends elsewhere.
It means that people will have more money to spend in local businesses, which will increase State and local sales tax, and increase State income tax revenues. Greater spending could even create enough new jobs to offset any jobs lost.
The bill sponsor is a $400/hr lawyer from Mountain Brook – the richest zip code in the state- preventing low paid workers from ever having a chance.
HB174 is being rushed through so that NO CITY… not Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, or Mobile, will ever be allowed the authority to set wages – or any other worker benefits – within their own local jurisdictions.
The GOP wants to keep Alabama as a CHEAP LABOR State – our “legacy” – right next to “right to work for less”. Yet they wonder why poverty levels are so high, why health and education outcomes are so bad and why our State Revenue never grows.
And while Republicans rule, Alabama will never raise our minimum wage above Federal levels.
Tell your local legislators to keep their hands off the rights of local authority and vote NO on HB174. Because, who knows which local authority they will take away next? House switchboard is 334-242-7600.
Citizen Activist from Decatur