How Workers Have Lost Billions in Wages and How We Can Restore Local Democracy ​

Local governments, like cities and counties, have long implemented local policies—including higher minimum wages—to improve economic conditions. Local efforts to raise the wage floor have seen a tremendous upsurge over the past six years, mostly as a result of the Fight for $15 movement, which began in late November 2012 in New York when fast food workers walked off the job, demanding $15 and a union. The movement quickly spread throughout the country, and its impact has been remarkable: More than 40 cities and counties have adopted their own minimum wage laws, and as of late 2018, an estimated 22 million workers have won $68 billion in raises since the Fight for $15 began.

In response to this explosion in local minimum wage activity, a number of states—particularly those with conservative legislatures—have sought to shut down these gains by adopting “preemption” laws that prohibit cities and counties from adopting local minimum wages, as well as a wide range of other pro-worker policies. The state preemption of local minimum wages disenfranchises workers and exacerbates racial inequality when it disproportionately impacts communities of color who are overrepresented among low-wage workers[1] and who often represent majorities in our cities and large metro areas.[2]

The most significant force behind the recent wave of preemption laws nationwide is the corporate lobby. Failing to stop the adoption of local pro-worker laws, the corporate lobby has persuaded state-level lawmakers to revoke the underlying local authority to adopt such policies, in some cases rolling back wage increases that were already enacted by city and county governments. In doing so, the corporate lobby has not only captured the political lever closest to the people (their city or county government), it has also hampered the democratic process at its most intimate level.

A total of 25 states have statutes preempting local minimum wage laws.[3] To date, 12 cities and counties in six states (Alabama, Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, and Wisconsin) have approved local minimum wage laws only to see them invalidated by state statute, harming hundreds of thousands of workers in the process, many of whom face high levels of poverty.

 

Below we summarize our main findings, showing how preemption of local wages has become a powerful anti-worker and anti-democratic policy.

Lost Wages

  • In 12 cities and counties that adopted local wage laws only to be preempted by their state legislatures, nearly 346,000 workers have been impacted by preemption.
  • On average, those workers are losing almost $4,100 individually per year.
  • On the aggregate, these workers are losing nearly $1.5 billion per year.

Who Is Affected

  • In all but two of these cities and counties, women make up the majority of affected workers.
  • Workers of color comprise the overwhelming majority of affected workers in three cities (Birmingham, Miami Beach, and St. Louis), and substantial shares ranging from 21 to 48 percent in six additional localities.
  • Affected workers in preempted cities and counties are mainly adults, many close to or above 30 years of age.
  • Between 41 percent to 66 percent of workers in these jurisdictions have some level of college experience.

Poverty in Affected Jurisdictions

  • Between 20 percent and 71 percent of affected workers in these 12 cities and counties live below the federal poverty line.
  • In all of these localities but two, poverty rates are significantly higher than the U.S. average (currently 14.6 percent).
  • In all six states where the preempted cities and counties are located, hunger affects more than one in 10 households.
  • In all of the preempted cities and counties, substantial shares of families (ranging from 22 percent to 49 percent of all households) face excessive housing costs above 30 percent of total income.
  • None of the state minimum wages currently in effect in these localities are adequate to meet the needs of single adults—much less the needs of parents or others taking care of dependents.

As the long-term consequences of preemption become clear to advocates and lawmakers around the country, and as they also understand how corporate interests have pushed the proliferation of preemption laws in recent years to protect their bottom line, the pendulum is now swinging back towards the restoration of local democracy. In 2019, bills have been introduced in at least eleven states to repeal past minimum wage preemption laws [Colorado (HB 19-1210); Louisiana (HB 422); Mississippi (SB 2321); Indiana (SB 82); Texas (SB 161); Georgia (HB 573); Virginia (HB 2631); Kansas (HB 2017); New York (AB 5441);[4] Oklahoma (SB 713); and Kentucky (HB 302)]. In addition, a bill in Hawaii expressly grants counties the power to adopt a higher minimum wage [Hawaii (HB 96)]. Colorado has led the way as the first state to legislatively repeal an existing law prohibiting local minimum wages.[5]

Introduction

A decade after the Great Recession, with unemployment at historic lows,[6] stable inflation,[7] and steady growth,[8] references to a strong economy abound. Yet, for many working people, a strong economy seems more fiction than fact. Over the past decade, real wages for the majority of workers have essentially flatlined, rising a mere 0.3 percent for the average worker,[9] while executive compensation has risen by nearly 72 percent.[10] New tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy are prioritized[11] over economic policies that help working families access affordable housing, childcare, and educational opportunities.[12] And for some populations that have long been shut out of the workforce,[13] little is done to improve their labor force participation rates, which remain disproportionately low[14] even as overall unemployment figures drop.[15]

In recent years, historians, journalists, and other experts have shown that the most significant force behind the recent wave of preemption laws nationwide is the corporate lobby.

Often, the persistent challenges facing working people and all individuals seeking economic stability and dignity come to a head in our nation’s cities. In these cities, constituents engage their elected officials to implement local solutions to their problems and improve their day-to-day lives. Local governments, like cities and counties, have long implemented local policies to improve economic conditions, including creating training programs, rewarding high road employers in the contracting process, implementing minimum work standards, and raising minimum wages.[16] Since the worker-led Fight for $15 movement began in November 2012, more than 40 cities and counties have passed laws raising the minimum wage at the local level.[17]

In response to this explosion in local minimum wage activity, a number of states—particularly those with conservative legislatures—have sought to shut down the process of implementing locally-based solutions by adopting “preemption” laws that prohibit cities and counties from adopting minimum wages higher than the state level, as well as a wide range of other pro-worker policies. Currently, 25 states preempt minimum wages at the local level.[18] The majority of these states (15) passed their laws blocking localities from raising the minimum wage starting in 2012, as the Fight for $15 gained momentum.[19] And local minimum wage laws already approved locally have been invalidated by state laws in six states, costing an estimated 346,000 workers a combined annual earnings of nearly $1.5 billion (Table 1).

In recent years, historians, journalists, and other experts have shown that the most significant force behind the recent wave of preemption laws nationwide is the corporate lobby. Historian Nancy MacLean, for example, has documented the “hostile takeover” of the federal government by corporations and their allies who oppose the very system of mass democratic participation.[20] Gordon Lafer has documented corporations’ use of big lobbying dollars to capture state-level legislative and administrative regimes that regulate the economy.[21]

Preemption of local policy innovation is the logical extension of corporations’ aim to capture any political processes that could advance priorities other than corporate profits; the preemption of local policies effectively removes the political lever closest to the people. As the National League of Cities has noted, “[P]reemption that prevents cities from expanding rights, building stronger economies and promoting innovation can be counterproductive and even dangerous.…We know well that innovation happens in cities and then percolates upwards. This process should be celebrated, not stymied.”[22]

Even more alarming for the health of civic discourse, some research finds that the very presence of a preemption statute may hinder public conversation about public policies and delay shifts in social norms that might otherwise take place.[23] As one activist has said, preemption bills “‘completely chill local governments from passing common-sense local solutions to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their communities. And that’s exactly what these interest groups want: cities and counties that don’t agree with them to be intimidated and bullied into inaction.’”[24]

Preemption bills “‘completely chill local governments from passing common-sense local solutions to protect the health, safety, and well-being of their communities.’”

Structural racism in the U.S. also plays a significant role in this story. All too often, state houses are not representative of the racial and ethnic groups[25] that seek to improve economic conditions in their cities. Workers of color—especially Black and Latino workers—who are disproportionately represented in low-wage industries and occupations[26] are frequently concentrated in our cities and metro areas.[27] In a political landscape in which people of color are often marginalized and in which racism all too frequently underlies policy discourse, local governments can offer the best opportunities for political engagement and to move policies that can lead to tangible gains for communities of color. Locally, those who are minorities in the larger polity can act as the majority and influence important outcomes.[28] As one scholar has noted, “Localities, because of their unique knowledge about how race is experienced at the community level and intimate involvement in processes at the heart of our democracy, have… the capacity to be important change agents in the area of race.”[29]

Today, many African American people are reversing the migration patterns of the early 20th century and moving back into the South and the Sun Belt, increasing their proportion of the population in cities across states like Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, and Florida.[30] As the African American population in the South increases, local elected officials in those areas, along with advocates and workers, must urgently address the threat of preemption in order to defend the ability to adopt protections for their residents that go beyond what the state can offer—and that protect the meaning and potential of local democracy itself.

While racially-unrepresentative statehouses have moved to preempt ordinances addressing any number of issues that disproportionately affect communities of color—including firearms control, regulation of unhealthy foods, protections for immigrants, and environmental justice—many focus on stopping local efforts to improve workplaces and wages.[31] Like voter suppression laws, including gerrymandering and redistricting, preemption, too, represents a pitched battle by well-resourced corporate interests and their state-level allies to quash the political demands of diverse urban populations of color for fairer economic systems. As one commentator has observed, “It’s been more expedient to subjugate black people by oppressing wherever they reside.”[32]

In this paper, we argue that the magnitude of our nation’s economic crisis requires a commitment at all levels of government to policy initiatives that can address the needs of working people and other communities lacking adequate protections and rights. The principles of our democracy have long allowed us to make use of the democratic process in order to set baseline policies at one level of government while allowing other levels of government to supplement those policies with stronger protections. This requires championing—not hindering—local power. State and federal workplace policies simply cannot account for the diverse and unique needs of all communities. Cities and counties facing especially high costs of living, rising inequality, and other economic conditions that bring about consequences felt uniquely at the local level, must have the opportunity to go beyond state and federal protections to ensure that their workers and communities do not simply survive, but thrive.

Like voter suppression laws,  preemption represents a pitched battle by well-resourced corporate interests and their state-level allies to quash the political demands of diverse urban populations of color for fairer economic systems.

While the recent abuse of preemption has hampered a wide range of progressive efforts tied to public health, the environment, and more, we focus in this paper on municipal and county efforts to raise wages. We specifically look at efforts to raise the minimum wage in order to explore how the preemption of local minimum wage laws has impacted working people’s economic well-being.

In Part I of this paper, we explore the evolution of preemption laws in the twenty-first century, highlighting the role of corporations and their industry associations in spreading the use of preemption to advance their bottom line.

In Part II, we look at the dollar cost of preemption for workers in cities and counties that adopted a local minimum wage increase, only to see those local laws invalidated by state statute. We estimate the number of workers affected and the amount in wages they have lost collectivity and per worker. We also attempt to contextualize the damage done to those communities by describing the demographic characteristics of affected workers, by analyzing data on food and housing insecurity and poverty, and by showing a distressing gap between the minimum wage available to workers in those areas and the cost of living.

In the last section, we discuss how, despite the success of corporate interests and their allies in preempting local minimum wages through state legislatures, workers and local communities are now reclaiming their power. Efforts in 2019 in places like Colorado show the path forward for repealing existing preemption laws and allowing communities to use their local democratic process to approve the pro-worker policies that they need. We call on state policymakers to correct the harm caused by preemption—which disproportionately affects people of color and women—by restoring the ability of local governments to adopt a higher minimum wage when they determine it would help their communities.

Number of Workers Affected and Annual Wages Lost Due to Minimum Wage Preemption (Adjusted to 2017)
[i] NELP analysis of local minimum wage laws approved nationwide. On file with author.
Jurisdiction Preempted Local Minimum Wage[i] Affected Workers Share of Total Workers in Jurisdiction Lost Hourly Wages per Worker[1] Lost Annual Earnings (per Worker) Lost Annual Earnings (All Workers)
Birmingham, AL $10.10 by 2017 27,450 19% $2.37 $3,870 $106,200,000
Miami Beach, FL $13.31 by 2021 24,210 46% $2.97 $4,840 $117,300,000
Johnson County, IA $10.10 by 2017 10,820 15% $2.53 $4,120 $44,600,000
Lee County, IA $8.20 by 2017 900 6% $1.70 $2,770 $2,500,000
Linn County, IA $10.25 by 2019 16,360 14% $2.53 $4,125 $67,500,000
Polk County, IA $10.75 by 2019 38,490 15% $2.91 $4,730 $182,200,000
Wapello County, IA $10.10 by 2019 2,570 17% $2.14 $3,490 $9,000,000
Lexington, KY $10.10 by 2018 34,380 19% $2.12 $3,450 $118,500,000
Louisville, KY $9.00 by 2017 49,850 11% $1.86 $3,030 $150,900,000
Kansas City, MO $13.00 by 2020 72,560 26% $3.40 $5,535 $401,700,000
St. Louis, MO $11.00 by 2018 44,160 20% $2.49 $4,060 $179,200,000
Madison, WI $7.75 by 2008 23,940 12% $2.86 $4,650 $111,400,000
Aggregate Totals 345,690 $1,491,000,000
Average Earnings Loss $4,057
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (2014), TIGER/Line Geography (2018); Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics (2017). All figures, except for hourly wages, have been rounded; totals may not add up. Analysis by T. Williams Lester and Matthew Hutton, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
[1] “Lost Hourly Wages per Worker” refers to the average hourly wage lost across all affected employees in each jurisdiction.

Endnotes

[1] Huizar, Laura and Gebreselassie, Tsedeye, National Employment Law Project, What a $15 Minimum Wage Means for Women and Workers of Color, December 2016, https://www.nelp.org/wp-content/uploads/Policy-Brief-15-Minimum-Wage-Women-Workers-of-Color.pdf.

[2] Frey, William H., Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, Melting Pot Cities and Suburbs: Racial and Ethnic Change in Metro America in the 2000s, May 2011, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/0504_census_ethnicity_frey.pdf.

[3] NELP analysis of minimum wage preemption laws as of May 28, 2019.

[4] New York has not passed an express minimum wage preemption law, but courts have interpreted state law as preempting local minimum wages. See Wholesale Laundry Board of Trade v. City of New York, 189 N.E.2d 128 (N.Y. 1963), aff’g 17 A.D.2d 327 (N.Y. App. Div. 1962).

[5] McMillan, Andrew, “Gov. Polis signs local minimum wage bill into law,” KRDO, May 28, 2019, https://www.krdo.com/news/gov-polis-signs-local-minimum-wage-bill-into-law/1081655250.

[6] Schneider, Avie, “U.S. Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.7 Percent, Lowest in Nearly 50 Years,” NPR, October 5, 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/10/05/654417887/u-s-unemployment-rate-drops-to-3-7-percent-lowest-in-nearly-50-years.

[7] Bartash, Jeffry, “Fed sees steady but slower growth and stable inflation for U.S. economy in 2019,” MarketWatch, February 22, 2019, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-sees-steady-but-slower-growth-and-stable-inflation-for-us-economy-in-2019-2019-02-22.

[8] Ibid.

[9] Gould, Elise and Shierholz, Heidi, Economic Policy Institute, “Average wage growth continues to flatline in 2018, while low-wage workers and those with relatively lower levels of educational attainment see stronger gains,” Working Economics Blog, July 18, 2018, https://www.epi.org/blog/average-wage-growth-continues-to-flatline-in-2018-while-low-wage-workers-and-those-with-relatively-lower-levels-of-educational-attainment-see-stronger-gains/. Refers to the annualized percent change between 2000 and 2018 for the 60th percentile of the wage distribution in Table 1 of the blog.

[10] Mishel, Lawrence and Schieder, Jessica, Economic Policy Institute, CEO compensation surged in 2017, August 16, 2018, https://www.epi.org/publication/ceo-compensation-surged-in-2017/.

[11] Marr, Chuck, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, “House GOP Budget Prioritizes Wealthy and Corporations for Tax Bill,” Off the Charts, July 25, 2017, https://www.cbpp.org/blog/house-gop-budget-prioritizes-wealthy-and-corporations-for-tax-bill.

[12] See Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The 2019 Trump Budget: Hurts Struggling Families, Shortchanges National Needs, February 21, 2018, https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/2-20-18pb19factsheet.pdf; and Silverstein, Jason, “Trump’s budget calls for ending student loan forgiveness program,” CBS News, March 12, 2019, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-budget-cuts-proposal-calls-for-ending-student-loan-debt-forgiveness-program/.

[13] Burd-Sharps, Sarah and Lewis, Kristen, Measure of America of the Social Science Research Council, Promising Gains, Persistent Gaps: Youth Disconnection in America, March 2017, http://measureofamerica.org/youth-disconnection-2017/.

[14] Wilson, Valerie and Jones, Janelle, Economic Policy Institute, Working Harder or Finding It Harder to Work, February 22, 2018, https://www.epi.org/publication/trends-in-work-hours-and-labor-market-disconnection/.

[15] Schneider, op. cit.

[16] Cummings, Scott L. and Boutcher, Steven A. (2009) “Mobilizing Local Government Law for Low-Wage Workers,” University of Chicago Legal Forum, Vol. 2009: Issue 1, Article 7, https://chicagounbound.uchicago.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1443&context=uclf.

[17] University of California Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education, Inventory of Local Minimum Wage Ordinances (Cities and Counties), updated March 6, 2019, http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/minimum-wage-living-wage-resources/inventory-of-us-city-and-county-minimum-wage-ordinances/.

[18] NELP analysis of minimum wage preemption laws as of May 28, 2019.

[19] Ibid.

[20] MacLean, Nancy. Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. New York: Random House, 2017.

[21] Lafer, Gordon. The One Percent Solution: How Corporations are Remaking America One State at a Time. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2017.

[22] Rainwater, Brooks, National League of Cities, “From the Director,” City Rights in an Era of Preemption: A State-by-State Analysis, 2017, http://nlc.org/sites/default/files/2017-02/NLC%20Preemption%20Report%202017.pdf.

[23] Mowery, Paul. D., et. al. (2012) “The Impact of State Preemption of Local Smoking Restrictions on Public Health Protections and Changes in Social Norms,” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Vol. 2012, Article ID 632629, https://grassrootschange.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/AR-Mowery-Social-Norms.pdf.

[24] Mike Alfano of the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, quoted in Davis-Cohen, Simon, “The Latest Weapon Against Local Democracy? ‘Super Preemption’,” The Progressive, March 8, 2018, https://progressive.org/dispatches/super-preemption-local-democracy-180308/.

[25] See Partnership for Working Families, “States Preempting Local Laws are an Extension of Jim Crow,” Blog & News, August 29, 2017, http://www.forworkingfamilies.org/blog/states-preempting-local-laws-are-extension-jim-crow.

[26] Huizar and Gebreselassie, op. cit.

[27] Frey, op. cit.

[28] Gerken, Heather K. (2005) “Dissenting by Deciding,” Stanford Law Review, Vol. 57, No. 6: 1745.

[29] Lenhardt, R.A. (2011) “Localities as Equality Innovators,” Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, Vol. 7: Issue 265.

[30] Frey, William H., Brookings, “The Black Exodus from the North—and West,” The Avenue, February 2, 2015, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2015/02/02/the-black-exodus-from-the-north-and-west/.

[31] von Wilpert, Marni, Economic Policy Institute, “State and local policymakers should beware preemption clauses,” Working Economics Blog, January 18, 2018, https://www.epi.org/blog/state-and-local-policymakers-should-beware-preemption-clauses-snuck-into-legislation/; National League of Cities, State Preemption of Local Authority Continues to Rise, According to New Data from the National League of Cities, April 5, 2018, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.nlc.org/article/state-preemption-of-local-authority-continues-to-rise-according-to-new-data-from-the.

[32] Perry, Andre M., Brookings, “Recognizing majority-black cities, when their existence is being questioned,” The Avenue, October 5, 2017, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/the-avenue/2017/10/04/recognizing-majority-black-cities-when-their-existence-is-being-questioned/.

[33] Phillips, Lauren E. (2017) “Impeding Innovation: State Preemption of Progressive Local Regulations,” Columbia Law Review, Vol. 117, No. 8.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Parlow, Matthew J. (2008) “Progressive Policy-Making on the Local Level: Rethinking Traditional Notions of Federalism,” Marquette University Law School, Faculty Publications, Paper 481.

[36] Ibid.; Phillips, op. cit.

[37] Dalmat, Darin M. (2006) “Bringing Economic Justice Closer to Home: The Legal Viability of Local Minimum Wage Laws Under Home Rule,” Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, Vol. 39, No. 73.

[38] Rapoport, Abby, “Blue Cities, Red States,” The American Prospect, August 22, 2016, https://prospect.org/article/blue-cities-battle-red-states. For details on how the tobacco industry chose to target state legislatures and push for preemption statutes, see, Mowery, Paul. D., et. al. (2012) “The Impact of State Preemption of Local Smoking Restrictions on Public Health Protections and Changes in Social Norms,” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, Vol. 2012, Article ID 632629.

[39] Hightower, Jim, “The Partisan Use Of Preemption Is Surging,” Creators Syndicate, Inc., July 19, 2017, https://www.creators.com/read/jim-hightower/07/17/the-partisan-use-of-preemption-is-surging.

[40] Based on ALEC’s 2016–2018 strategic plan, its membership at the time included “25 percent of all legislative members and over 200 corporate and nonprofit members … 20 percent of Congress, eight sitting governors and more than 300 local elected officials.” American Legislative Exchange Council, Strategic Plan 2016–2018, https://www.alec.org/app/uploads/2016/06/ALEC-Strat-Plan-Final-051616.pdf.

[41] The Center for Media and Democracy, Sourcewatch, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/U.S._Chamber_of_Commerce.

[42] The Center for Media and Democracy, ALEC Exposed, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed.

[43]  MacLean, op. cit. at 230.

[44]  Ibid. at 231.

[45] Riverstone-Newell, Lori (2017) “The Rise of State Preemption Laws in Response to Local Policy Innovation,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 47, No. 3, https://academic.oup.com/publius/article/47/3/403/3852645.

[46] American Legislative Exchange Council, Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.alec.org/model-policy/living-wage-mandate-preemption-act/.

[47] Liss-Schultz, Nina, “How ALEC Plans to Undo Minimum Wage Increases in 2015,” Rewire.News, December 18, 2014, https://rewire.news/article/2014/12/18/alec-plans-undo-minimum-wage-increases-2015/.

[48] Pilkington, Ed, “How a powerful rightwing lobby is plotting to stop minimum wage hikes,” The Guardian, February 20, 2015, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/20/alec-rightwing-lobby-group-minimum-wage.

[49] Ibid. (internal quotations omitted).

[50] Local Solutions Support Center, The Emerging Threat to Local Democracy and Its Consequences, last retrieved May 28, 2019, http://www.supportdemocracy.org/home/emerging-threat/.

[51] See Briffault, Richard (2018) “The Challenge of the New Preemption,” Stanford Law Review, Vol. 70: 1999–2000, https://review.law.stanford.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2018/06/70-Stan.-L.-Rev.-1995.pdf.

[52] Graham, David A., “How St. Louis Workers Won and Then Lost a Minimum-Wage Hike,” The Atlantic, August 29, 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/08/st-louis-minimum-wage-preemption/538182/; von Wilpert, Marni, Economic Policy Institute, “Missouri’s new preemption law cheats 38,000 workers out of a raise,” Working Economics Blog, July 14, 2017, https://www.epi.org/blog/missouris-new-preemption-law-cheats-38000-workers-out-of-a-raise/.

[53] HB 1194 & HB 1193, 99th General Assembly of the State of Missouri, 2017, https://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills171/hlrbillspdf/2328S.09T.pdf.

[54] Ibid.

[55] SB 762, 86th Legislative Session of the State of Texas, 2019, https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=86R&Bill=SB762.

[56] Quoted in Capps, Kriston, “Thwarting Cities in the Trump Era,” City Lab, March 30, 2017, https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/03/thwarting-cities-in-the-trump-era/520398/ (internal quotations omitted).

[57] HB 3, 2019 Regular Session of the Legislature of the State of Florida, https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/00003/?Tab=BillText.

[58] Ibid.

[59] See, e.g., Equality Florida, Dangerous Preemption Measure Advances in Florida House, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.eqfl.org/news/hb3; Florida League of Cities, Inc., Preemption of Local Regulations (Oppose – Mandate and Preemption), last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.floridaleagueofcities.com/blog/legislative-bulletin/2019/04/27/preemption-of-local-regulations-(oppose-mandate-and-preemption)04-26-2019-09-59-45; Florida Association of Counties, Legislative Watch List, HB 3: Preemption of Local Regulations, last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://www.fl-counties.com/hb-3-hb-5; Haughey, John, “Panel Oks proposal to dissolve all local business regulations by 2021, The Center Square Florida, February 22, 2019, https://www.thecentersquare.com/florida/panel-oks-proposal-to-dissolve-all-local-business-regulations-by/article_1ff7fb38-36ac-11e9-8304-0f6c378a99d4.html; Miami Dade County, Miami-Dade Legislative Item File Number: 190477, last retrieved May 28, 2019, http://www.miamidade.gov/govaction/matter.asp?matter=190477&file=true&fileAnalysis=false&yearFolder=Y2019.

[60] Briffault, op. cit.

[61] Ibid.

[62] Ibid.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Partnership for Working Families, For All of Us, By All of Us: Challenging State Interference to Advance Gender and Racial Justice, May 2019, https://www.forworkingfamilies.org/sites/default/files/publications/PWF%20Gender%20Preemption_0.pdf.

[66] Pinto, Maya, National Employment Law Project. Workers in All 50 States will Need $15 an Hour by 2024 to Afford the Basics, May 2017, https://www.nelp.org/publication/workers-in-all-50-states-will-need-15-an-hour-by-2024-to-afford-the-basics/.

[67] Gallup News Service, Americans’ Views on Economic Mobility and Economic Inequality in the U.S. (Trends), last retrieved May 28, 2019, https://news.gallup.com/poll/228980/americans-views-economic-mobility-economic-inequality-trends.aspx.

[68] Pew Research Center, The Partisan Divide on Political Values Grows Even Wider: 6. Economic Fairness, Corporate Profits and Tax Policy, October 5, 2017, last retrieved May 29, 2019, http://www.people-press.org/2017/10/05/6-economic-fairness-corporate-profits-and-tax-policy/.

[69] Long, Heather, “Even Trump voters want the minimum wage raised,” CNN Business, February 14, 2017, https://money.cnn.com/2017/02/14/news/economy/donald-trump-minimum-wage/index.html; Fernández Campbell, Alexia, “Voters just gave nearly 1 million workers a raise in 2 red states,” Vox, November 7, 2018, https://www.vox.com/2018/11/7/18071804/minimum-wage-arkansas-missouri-election-ballot-measure.

[70] University of California Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education, op. cit.

[71] See, e.g., Dillon, Liam and McGreevy, Patrick, “Legislature approves minimum wage increase, sending historic measure to Gov. Jerry Brown,” Los Angeles Times, March 31, 2016, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-sac-minimum-wage-vote-20160331-story.html; Tu, Janet I., “Voters approve minimum wage increase to $13.50 in Washington state,” The Seattle Times, May 2, 2017, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washington-state-minimum-wage-initiative-1433/; Lathrop, Yannet, National Employment Law Project, Impact of the Fight for $15: $68 Billion in Raises, 22 Million Workers, November 2018, https://www.nelp.org/publication/impact-fight-for-15-2018/.

[72] Lathrop, op. cit.

[73] McMillan, op. cit.

[74] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 23-362 (enacted by HB 2292 in 1997 and repealed through Proposition 202 in the 2006 election); HB 2292, 43rd Legislative Session of the State of Arizona, 1997.

[75] Ballotpedia, Arizona Minimum Wage, Proposition 202 (2006), last retrieved May 23, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_Minimum_Wage,_Proposition_202_(2006).

[76] HB 730, 1997 Regular Session of the State of Louisiana.

[77] HB 2292, 43rd Legislative Session of the State of Arizona, 1997.

[78] National Employment Law Project analysis of state laws.

[79] Ala. Code § 25-7-41 (2019); Iowa Code Ann. § 331.304 (West 2019); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 65.016 (West 2019); Mo. Ann. Stat. § 290.528 (West 2019); Wis. Stat. Ann. § 104.001 (West 2019).

[80] See Fla. Stat. Ann. § 218.077 (West 2019); City of Miami Beach v. Fla. Retail Fed’n, Inc., No. SC17-2284, 2019 WL 446549, at *1 (Fla. Feb. 5, 2019).

[81] See Graham, op. cit.; and National Employment Law Project, “On Iowa Blocking All Local Minimum Wage and Employment Benefits Laws” [news release], March 30, 2017, https://www.nelp.org/news-releases/on-iowa-blocking-all-local-minimum-wage-and-employment-benefits-laws/.

[82] See U.S. Department of Labor, Minimum Wage Laws in the States (Updated March 29, 2019), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm.

[83] See Ballotpedia, Florida Minimum Wage, Amendment 5 (2004), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Florida_Minimum_Wage,_Amendment_5_(2004); Missouri Proposition B, $12 Minimum Wage Initiative (2018), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Proposition_B,_$12_Minimum_Wage_Initiative_(2018); Missouri Minimum Wage, Proposition B (2006), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Minimum_Wage,_Proposition_B_(2006).

[84] NELP analysis of local minimum wage laws approved nationwide. On file with author.

[85] Fremstad, Shawn, “The Federal Poverty Line is Too Damn Low,” The Nation, September 14, 2016, https://www.thenation.com/article/the-federal-poverty-line-is-too-damn-low/.

[86] Food Research & Action Center, Food Hardship in America: A Look at National, Regional, State, and Metropolitan Statistical Area Data on Household Struggles with Hunger, August 2018, http://alliancetoendhunger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-FRAC_how-hungry-is-america.pdf.

[87] Food Research & Action Center, Percent of All Households that Experienced Food Hardship, 2016-2017, by State, last retrieved June 3, 2019, http://www.frac.org/wp-content/uploads/state_foodhardship_2016_2017.html.

[88] See Table 3.

[89] Food Research & Action Center, Food Hardship in America: A Look at National, Regional, State, and Metropolitan Statistical Area Data on Household Struggles with Hunger, August 2018, http://alliancetoendhunger.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/2018-FRAC_how-hungry-is-america.pdf.

[90] National Low Income Housing Coalition, Out of Reach 2018, last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://reports.nlihc.org/oor.  Select relevant states and compare “Housing wage” levels for the state as a whole, and the pertinent counties, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), or HUD Metro FMR Area (HMFA).

[91] Food Research & Action Center, Percent of All Households that Experienced Food Hardship, 2016-2017, by State, last retrieved June 3, 2019, http://www.frac.org/wp-content/uploads/state_foodhardship_2016_2017.html.

[92] U.S. Department of Labor, op. cit.

[93] Ibid.

[94] New York has not passed an express minimum wage preemption law, but courts have interpreted state law as preempting local minimum wages. See Wholesale Laundry Board of Trade v. City of New York, 189 N.E.2d 128 (N.Y. 1963), aff’g 17 A.D.2d 327 (N.Y. App. Div. 1962).

[95] National Employment Law Project analysis of state laws.

[96] SB 99-14, 62nd General Assembly, First Regular Session of the State of Colorado, 1999, https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/1999a_sl_99.pdf.

[97] Center for Media and Democracy, Colorado ALEC Politicians, last retrieved May 23, 2018, https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Colorado_ALEC_Politicians.

[98] American Legislative Exchange Council, ’99 ALEC Leaders in the States, last retrieved May 29, 2019, http://web.archive.org/web/20001208034300/http://www.alec.org/viewpage.cfm?id=716&xsectionid=5#alumni.

[99] Ballotpedia, Colorado Minimum Wage Increase, Initiative 42 (2006), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Minimum_Wage_Increase,_Initiative_42_(2006).

[100] Ballotpedia, Colorado $12 Minimum Wage, Amendment 70 (2016), last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_$12_Minimum_Wage,_Amendment_70_(2016).

[101] NELP analysis of Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator data for the Denver/Aurora/Lakewood metropolitan area. See Economic Policy Institute, Family Budget Calculator, https://www.epi.org/resources/budget/. Hourly estimates assume full-time, year-round work of approximately 2,080 hours per year. Estimates are in 2017 dollars.

[102] Ibid.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Roberts, Michael, “Why Minimum wage Could Go Up More in Some Colorado Towns Than Others,” Westword, April 13, 2018, https://www.westword.com/news/local-wage-option-bill-would-let-colorado-cities-raise-minimum-wage-10191313.

[105] Woodruff, Chase, “Democrats Revive Bill to Let Colorado Cities Set Their Own Minimum Wage,” Westword, February 26, 2019, https://www.westword.com/news/colorado-democrats-revive-bill-to-let-colorado-cities-set-their-own-minimum-wage-11245787.

[106] McMillan, op. cit.

[107] U.S. Department of Labor, op. cit.

[108] Pollin, Robert et al., Political Economy Research Institute, Economic Analysis of the New Orleans Minimum Wage Proposal, 1999, https://www.peri.umass.edu/publication/item/165-economic-analysis-of-the-new-orleans-minimum-wage-proposal. Near poverty here is defined as 150 percent of the federal poverty line.

[109] Ibid.

[110] Anderson, Ed, “Bill banks local minimum wage,” New Orleans Times Picayune, April 1, 1997.

[111] HB 730, 1997 Regular Session of the State of Louisiana.

[112] New Orleans Campaign For a Living Wage v. City of New Orleans, 2002-0991 (La. 9/4/02), 825 So. 2d 1098.

[113] See The Action Network, Unleashed Local, last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://actionnetwork.org/groups/unleash-local; Unleash Local, End State Overreach and Restore Local Freedom, last retrieved May 29, 2019, https://www.unleashlocal.org/.

[114] See, e.g., Unleash Local, Local Chapters, last retrieved May 23, 2019, https://www.unleashlocal.org/local-chapters.

[115] HB 422, 2019 Regular Session of the Legislature of the State of Louisiana, http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/BillInfo.aspx?s=19RS&b=HB422&sbi=y.

[116] As per Berube, Alan and Thacher, Tiffany, The Brookings Institution, The Shape of the Curve: Households Income Distributions in U.S. Cities, 1979-1999, August 2004, https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/20040803_income.pdf.

[117] New York University Langone Health, City Health Dashboard, https://www.cityhealthdashboard.com/metric/12. Last updated February 14, 2019.

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