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Out-lawing cities

Republicans want to restrict cities from creating their own labor laws

Republicans want to restrict cities from creating their own labor laws

For the nine years that Christina Cortez worked at a McDonald’s in her hometown of Minneapolis, she wasn’t able to take a single sick day off work, even when she had the flu.

When Minneapolis passed a bill last year giving residents paid sick leave, Christina was relieved. But now, Republicans in the state Legislature have introduced a new bill that would strip cities’ ability to create their own labor laws.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Pat Garofalo, is one of a growing number of “pre-emption bills” being pushed by conservatives in the state Legislatures. They prevent local governments from creating their own laws, on everything from gun control to sanctuary cities to pesticide control. On pre-empting paid sick leave, 15 states have already passed these kinds of bills, and 10 more states are considering it.

The fight for a higher minimum wage and paid sick leave has been gaining traction in progressive cities across the U.S. But some conservative state Legislatures, such as Minnesota’s, have found a way to rein in cities’ progressive impulses.  VICE News’ Alexandra Jaffe reports from Minneapolis, where House File 600 would kill Minneapolis’ newly established paid sick leave ordinance before it goes into effect this July.

This segment originally aired March 27, 2017, on VICE News Tonight on HBO. 


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