December 14, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Columbus. OH – The Ohio legislature on Dec. 7 passed an omnibus bill prohibiting local governments from raising their minimum wage higher than the state’s, which will go from $8.10 an hour to $8.15 in January. Gov. John Kasich has not said whether he will sign it.
The measure would pre-empt a Cleveland ballot initiative scheduled for May on whether to raise the city’s minimum to $15, as well as a campaign to put a similar measure on the ballot in Cincinnati next November. Republican legislators slipped the ban into a bill backed by the Petland chain that would prohibit local governments from restricting where pet stores can acquire animals, specifically the unlicensed breeders called “puppy mills.” Other amendments added would let cellphone companies install equipment on public land and outlaw bestiality. At least a dozen states, including Michigan, Florida, Missouri, Alabama, and Kentucky, have banned local governments from raising the minimum wage, many using a model bill drafted by the far-right American Legislative Exchange Council. In Alabama and Missouri, those laws were a direct response to minimum-wage increases passed in Birmingham and St. Louis. Read more