MultiState's Local Policy Digest explores the top legislative developments this week from municipalities across the U.S.
The Minneapolis City Council is considering raising the city's minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour. Last Friday, the council introduced a draft ordinance (17-00723) increasing the minimum wage for workers in Minneapolis. In its current form, the ordinance would apply to all workers, including restaurant servers, regardless of tip credits. It also allows workers younger than 20 years old to receive a training wage for no more than 90 days. A current Committee of the Whole proposal would include a four-year phase-in period for large businesses and a longer period for smaller businesses. Once the $15 level is met, future increases would be indexed to inflation. There is already widespread support for the measure on the city council. Berkeley and Davis, California, are revising their plastic straw policies to become more environmentally friendly. Berkeley has proposed an ordinance (download proposal) to prohibit the use of plastic straws in bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. The accompanying staff report claims Americans discard 500 million plastic straws each day. “The habits we have are destroying our planet,” said Berkeley Councilmember Sophie Hahn. The city of Davis is considering a slightly less restrictive measure. The Davis City Council introduced an ordinance requiring dine-in establishments to ask patrons if they would like a straw instead of automatically providing one. The Davis ordinance exempts fast food restaurants. Tucson's City Council is set to hear a resolution that would denounce President Trump's border wall and divest the city from companies bidding to help construct it. Tucson Councilmember Regina Romero submitted a resolution declaring Tucson, Arizona, "a city against a border wall.” The resolution (#22763) would “declare [the] mayor and council's opposition to the proposed construction of a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border,” and would express the intent of the city to divest itself from any companies “involved in the designing, building, or financing of the . . . wall.” Tucson is not alone in its wish to punish those companies attempting to bid on the border wall project. We recently highlighted how lawmakers in six states have proposed similar measures — seven bills and five local ordinances. Three of the five local ordinances, all in California — Berkeley, Oakland, and Santa Cruz — have passed.
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