Today, CCI members celebrate as Black Hawk County becomes the 5th Iowa county taking proactive steps forwards in raising the wage across the state.
The Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors voted on January 31st to establish a task force to look into raising the minimum wage. The measure was approved 4-1, with only Supervisor Linda Laylin voting against creating the task force. With this vote Black Hawk County has the potential to join Johnson, Linn, and Polk Counties in passing a county-wide minimum wage increase.
This vote by the Supervisors comes as some state legislators discuss introducing and passing a minimum wage preemption bill. A preemption bill would strip Iowa counties of local control of the minimum wage in their communities and lower wages in counties that have already passed ordinances back down to the state and federal level of $7.25/hr.
The Black Hawk County Supervisors are acting on the minimum wage issue for the same reason other counties across the state have – lack of initiative by the state legislature and growing poverty in their communities. “The simple fact of the matter is the federal and state governments haven’t acted since 2007, and we have folks living here with stagnant wages. Low wages keep Black Hawk County residents in poverty and out of home ownership, which lowers the property tax revenue for the county,” said Supervisor Schwartz.
Each Supervisor will have the opportunity to appoint two members to the task force. A timeline for the task force has not been laid out yet, but some Supervisors on the board encouraged Supervisors to make their appointments within two weeks.
Congratulations to the residents of Black Hawk County on this first step towards a living wage! As the taskforce moves forward on raising the wage, we’ll continue to keep you updated on ways YOU can plug into this fight.
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