Keep the Living Wage – Updated

Update: According to the Tennesseean’s In Sesion blog the anti-living wage bill was defeated today by a vote of 3-3, effectively killing the measure for this session.

Original post follows…

At 1:30 today, the House Subcommittee on Employee Affairs will take up HB 0311 the companion bill to SB 0083 which would end the living wage provisions here in Memphis or any other living wage provision maintained by city or county governments across the state. From the summary:

As introduced, prohibits local governments from requiring private employer to pay its employees any wage not required to be paid to such employee under state or federal law. – Amends TCA Title 50, Chapter 2, Part 1.

The bill passed the State Senate back on March 12 with a vote of 18-13. After passage of the bill in the Senate, County Commissioner, Steve Mulroy wrote an editorial defending the living wage in the Commercial Appeal.

The arguments Commissioner Mulroy made last month ring true today. The most compelling of those, in my opinion is “home rule” . Why does the state believe that they know what is best for Memphis, or any other city/county? Why is the state legislature engaged in an attempt to drive down quality of life provisions that a local government, in considering it’s own economic realities, have put in place? What business is it of the state to make us set a wage in our community that is FAR BELOW what is necessary to LIVE in our community?

Contact the members of the Subcommittee and ask them to kill this bill.

Committee Officers
Mike McDonald, Chair (D-Portland) (615) 741-1980
Stacey Campfield, Vice-Chair (R-Knoxville) (615) 741-2287
Mike Bell (R-Riceville) (615) 741-1946
Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) (615) 741-4415
Sherry Jones (D-Nashville) (615) 741-2035
Gary Moore (D-Joelton) (615) 741-4317

I’ll do my best to keep up with the progress of this bill as the session continues.

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