February 27, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Montgomery, AL – The Alabama state Senate voted Feb. 25 to prohibit local governments from enacting their own minimum wages, sending the bill to Gov. Robert Bentley.
The 23-10 vote, largely along party lines, came one day after Birmingham Mayor William Bell signed an ordinance setting the city’s minimum at $10.10 an hour effective Sunday the 28th, when a notice can be published in a local newspaper. State Rep. David Faulkner, a Republican from Birmingham's affluent suburbs who sponsored the bill, argued that if cities were allowed to set their own minimums, employers would move to areas where they could pay less—but other supporters of the bill said that raising the minimum would “kill jobs in this state instantly.” “We’re talking about the bare survival of people,” said Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham). “And we’re talking about a Legislature… that says we don’t care about y’all.” Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison (D-Birmingham) has proposed amending the state’s constitution to raise the minimum to $10 by 2018. Read more