Minimum wage bill splits Iowa workers, business owners

Posted at 8:06 AM, Mar 07, 2017

Frustrated Iowans and supportive business owners have packed a legislative hearing to discuss a bill that would revoke wage increases for low-income workers.

The House Local Government committee heard feedback Monday on the legislation, which would freeze the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour and roll back wages that have already been increased.

Opponents say the bill perpetuates poverty for Iowa's poorest workers and undermines community decisions. Wage increases have been approved in Polk, Johnson, Linn and Wapello counties.

Mike Holms, of Jethro's barbecue restaurant, says small businesses need wage consistency. The Iowa Chamber Alliance, a business lobbying group, also sought a standardized state wage.

The bill was introduced by Johnston Republican Jake Highfill. The panel already has approved the proposal, which is set for a House floor vote.