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Thursday, February 20, 2014

 9:04 PM 

Dems slam minimum wage preemption

Debate remains ongoing on legislation to limit local “living wage” laws, but, thus far, its been just Dems speaking, calling the measure another attack on local control.

The bill would prohibit minimum wage requirements for employees that are funded at least in part from state or federal sources.

“Don’t penalize Milwaukee and Madison,” said Rep. Gary Hebl, D-Sun Prairie, after Dems moved to refer the bill back to committee -- a motion that was rejected 37-56.

Dane County Dems also sought to grandfather in already existing ordinances -- most notably the one in their home county -- but that amendment, along with three others, was tabled by Republicans.

“The living wage works for Dane County,” said Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, D-Middleton, estimating that some 3,500 county residents would be affected by the measure.

Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, opened the debate by joking that he’d go along with an adjournment motion to save “three hours of our lives that we’re never going to get back,” adding that the chamber should take its cue from the Senate and go home.

“This bill is dead on arrival,” Barca said. “This is going nowhere in the Senate.”

Retiring Rep. Pat Strachota, R-West Bend, took a turn in the speaker’s chair during debate of the amendments.


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