BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Governor Terry Branstad signed into law Thursday House Bill 295 essentially stripping local governments of any rights to set a minimum wage other than the state minimum.
The Lee County Board of Supervisors Tuesday passed an ordinance that pushes the county minimum wage to $8.20 effective May 1, but the new law signed by the government is effective upon signing and will preempt the new ordinance.
“Different county minimum wages create confusion, especially for cities that are in more than one county,” Branstad wrote on his website after signing the bill. “This bill provides uniformity through the state on Iowa’s minimum wage. It does nothing to force businesses to pay employees less than they are currently paying. I want to thank all of those who worked hard to provide local governments and Iowa businesses with predictability.”
Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds agreed with the governor’s assessment.
“We know most employers in the state are paying well above the minimum wage, but different county minimum wages creates confusion and prevents Iowa from growing,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “Our focus has always been on creating an environment where businesses can succeed and we can attract more good paying jobs. This legislation takes the necessary steps to eliminate the confusion that exists today.”