As reported yesterday, a bill introduced Monday in the Washington State Senate would disallow cities, counties, and port districts from making changes to wages, work hours, and employee retention rules and regulations if they differ from state laws.
The bill, SB-6307 2013-2014, is a clear attempt to stop cities like Seattle and Sea-tac from exploring increases to the minimum wage, but the impact of the bill is damaging beyond that. The bill seeks to strip local control of employment regulations which are often tailored to the unique needs of the local economy and the will of the local constituency.
Mayor Murray had this to say about the bill:
“Matters such as paid sick leave, robust workers’ compensation protections and a higher minimum wage are important to us here in Seattle, and we’re committed to making progress on them on behalf of our communities. My former colleagues across the aisle in Olympia openly disagree with us on these issues. At the same time, they’d strongly oppose any attempt by the state to limit the cities and towns in their districts from controlling their own destiny – or any attempt by the federal government to limit our state’s ability to fully represent all of its residents.
“According to the Republicans’ own principles, SB 6307 is a vast overreach. In their rush to disagree with us on the policy direction we are charting out for our own community, the Republicans are contradicting themselves on the issue of local control. It’s an incoherent message, and one that progressives and conservatives can jointly dislike.”