Just like in many cities, activists in Oklahoma City have been pushing this year to raise their city's minimum wage, in this case from the state/federal floor of $7.25 to $10.10 an hour. And what's the state legislature doing?
Oh, just passing a bill banning cities from enacting higher minimum wage laws or any paid sick time or vacation time requirements. Governor Mary Fallin just signed the bill, citing reasons from a made-up reality she invented to justify her signature:
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.” She warned that increasing the minimum wage “would require businesses to fire many of those part-time workers” and harm job creation.
But that’s not what the typical American minimum wage worker looks like. Nearly 90 percent of workers who would be impacted by an increase in the wage are older than 20, while the average age is 35. More than a quarter have children to support. More than half work full time, and 44 percent have at least some college education, while half a million minimum wage workers are college graduates.
Meanwhile, experts have analyzed state minimum wage increases over two decades and found that even at times of high unemployment, there is no clear evidence that the hikes affected job creation. Five other studies have come to the same conclusion. The same has held true for the city of San Francisco, where employment grew by more than 5 percent after it passed a higher minimum wage while nearby counties experienced declines.
Well, hey, at least they can always say they beat us to universal pre-K.