Oklahoma Governor Signs Ban on Higher Wages, Paid Sick Days

Apparently it’s not bad enough that Oklahoma has refused to participate in the expansion of Medicaid. Governor Mary Fallin (R) has just signed a bill that prohibits cities in Oklahoma from passing their own labor laws.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Cities in Oklahoma are prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill that has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin. [...]

Opponents say those decisions should be left up to individual communities. They complain the bill specifically targets Oklahoma City, where an initiative is underway to a establish a citywide minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum wage.

More:

Fallin said she signed the bill out of the worry that higher local minimum wages “would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.” She also argued that “most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry level jobs” and that “many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.

That may have been the case 10 or 15 years ago, but that is not the case today. The situation was already growing dire, but the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting recession pushed more adults, many of whom are educated, into minimum wage jobs.

I assume that most Republicans are clueless on what the job market really looks like, but even if they understood I doubt they would drop the tired rhetoric.

If you’re among the working poor in Oklahoma, the Republican party is doing everything they can to keep you down. They don’t want you to have a livable wage or healthcare.

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  • http://vermillionbrain.blogspot.com/ Vermillion

    Even if what she said was true, that doesn’t preclude having a higher minimum wage. What, young people don’t want to get paid more for their work or something? And I know that your average middle-class college student would rather live in their own place, or at least campus housing, than be under their parents’ roof.

    She seems to think that people work minimum wage jobs as a CHOICE. Gah.

  • PostSurgeOperative

    Yikes, so much for local control. Otoh, this is the sort of thing that will drive politics and voter turnout in the more liberal, urban centers of that state, such as OK City.

  • Christopher Foxx


    Fallin said she signed the bill out of the worry that higher local minimum wages “would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.”

    So she’s looking out for consumers so they don’t have to pay higher prices by… making sure those same consumers can’t make enough to afford things at their current prices.

    Why is it that Republicans, when faced with a “help folks by keeping their costs low” vs “help folks by getting their income higher” (allowing for a moment that that’s the choice, even though it really isn’t) always come down on the side that keeps people poor?


    She also argued that “most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry level jobs” and that “many are high school or college students living with their parents in middle-class families.”

    And why are those working adults still living with their parents? Because they can’t make enough to afford to help boost the economy by putting money in the hands of grocers, landlords, etc.

  • Christopher Foxx

    Not by any means a new observation (actually a very old, well worn one), but here we have yet another example of the folks who scream most loudly about government overreach and letting the market sort itself out using the government to interfere in the market.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Jeebus fleebing cripes, how mean are they trying to show themselves to be? Do they actually think that abject sociopathic meanness is the key to long-term electoral success?

    • ninjaf

      *shakes Magic 8 Ball* All signs point to yes.

  • stacib23

    That may have been the case 10 or 15 years ago, but that is not the case today. The situation was already growing dire, but the 2008 financial crisis and the resulting recession pushed more adults, many of whom are educated, into minimum wage jobs.

    I’ll never understand why people can’t see the direct correlation between the high teen unemployment and how many adult people are holding the jobs those kids used to get. When is the last time you saw a high school kid at the register in a grocery store? Even the fast food places – it’s sad how many people over 30 are working at McDonald’s and Burger King.

  • mrbrink

    This is where the theory of states’ rights steps into the rake field, and why democracy and full participation in the electoral process is key to overcoming the anti-social behaviors of these little lords of tyrants.

    • ninjaf

      I thought they were for more local control over everything? In their world view:
      local gummint > state gummint > federal gummint = freedumb.

      Until, of course, their magic decoder ring tells them otherwise. Drink your Ovaltine, kiddies!

  • Bob Clark

    I wonder how she would feel if the Feds made extending medicaid mandatory?