Colorado Lawmakers Pass Historic Bill Repealing Minimum Wage Preemption

May 6, 2019

Denver – The Colorado legislature has approved a bill repealing a 20-year-old state law that banned cities and counties from enacting a local minimum wage higher than the state’s minimum wage. The bill now heads to Governor Jared Polis, and his signature would make Colorado the first state in the nation to repeal this type of restrictive preemption law. The measure restores the ability of local municipalities across the state to raise minimum wages and align them with local – and often rising – costs of living.

Kim Haddow, Director of the Local Solutions Support Center, a national hub that coordinates and creates efforts to counter the abuse of preemption and strengthen local democracy, issued the following statement:

“Kudos to the Colorado legislature for giving local governments back the power to improve the lives of their citizens, act on the needs of their communities, and find local solutions to local problems. We hope this repeal of a state preemption law and restoration of local authority and autonomy sparks a national trend.”

Colorado is the first state to repeal a minimum wage preemption law – but other states are considering similar action. Bills similar to the Colorado measure were introduced in at least 11 other state legislatures this year, including Louisiana, New York, Texas, and Virginia. Twenty-six states currently have laws on the books that prevent local municipalities from setting wages that reflect the realities of the cost of living in their communities. For more information on similar preemption laws, explore this Website.

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