Sen. Sandy Pappas speaks out against preemption measure

Saint Paul, Minn – State Senator Sandy Pappas (DFL-St. Paul) voted against a preemption measure today that would prohibit the enactment of labor compensation/benefits at the local level. As written, the bill has three core components that prohibit local governments from: establishing a minimum wage, requiring businesses to provide sick and safe time, establishing rules relative to benefits, terms of employment, or working conditions.

“I strongly oppose legislation that takes away local control from our communities and strikes down worker protections put in place by Minneapolis and St. Paul last year,” Sen. Pappas said. “The preemption measure would ban local employment regulations on minimum wage, unpaid leave and scheduling requirements. Engaged citizens, local governments, and many small businesses worked hard to enact these benefits. We cannot allow state legislators to take away local control and implement statewide standards that would hurt working families.”

“In Sept. 2016, the Saint Paul City Council passed an ordinance requiring St. Paul employers and earned sick and safe time,” Sen. Pappas said. “I applaud the city for engaging in a dialog with their citizens for more than three months. Businesses, citizens, and local governments worked together to come up with a fair ordinance. This legislation would make all these important gains null and void.”

The bill is part of a national narrative put forth by the Chamber of Commerce and ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) to attack workers and the autonomy of our locally elected officials. “Republicans claim that preemption is about creating uniformity in workplace policies such as sick time and minimum wage across the state,” Sen. Pappas said. “If that is indeed the case, I am the author of legislation to create a statewide sick time policy – which would have created uniformity they are looking for — but I wasn’t granted the courtesy of a hearing this year.”

“The preemption bill was a significant overreach, which will strip local governments of their ability to serve those who elected them and serve them in a timely manner,” Sen. Pappas said. “Under this bill, the Republican majority wants to dictate how urban, suburban, and rural cities manage their people. I am hopeful Gov. Dayton will veto this anti-labor legislation.”

Senator Sandy Pappas
Sandy Pappas represents District 65, which includes portions of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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