Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a law that bans cities from enacting municipal minimum-wage standards for businesses within the city.
That’s strange. I have thought Republicans, such as Fallin, were categorically opposed to what they call “government overreach,” that local control should trump bigger-government control whenever possible?
Oklahoma cities, like cities in all the other states, do have this thing called “home rule charter” form government. I believe that enables cities to set the rules inside their corporate limits. Do I have that wrong?
Gov. Fallin’s signature on the bill now disallows cities from making that call.
It reminds me a bit of the Texas statute that used to prohibit cities from deploying red-light cameras if city officials perceived a problem with people running red lights, causing accidents and putting local residents in danger. That law has been amended and some cities — such as Amarillo — are using the cameras to catch those who run through red lights.
Those who support the Oklahoma minimum-wage ban say it “levels the playing field” for all cities. A GOP state representative said, “An artificial raise in the minimum wage could derail local economies in a matter of months. This is a fair measure for consumers, workers and small business owners.”
Sure thing. But if business owners agree that the $7.25 hourly wage is too low and are willing to pay more, don’t they have the right to do so if the city where they operate grants them permission?
Local control, man. Local control.
I thought that was preferable to patronizing Big Government.