House committee rejects bills for minimum wage changes, equal pay for women

Rep. Roy Duplessis, D-New Orleans, questions critics of a bill that would allow local authorities determine minimum wages. (Photo credit: Madeline Meyer, LSU Manship School News Service)

By: Madeline Meyer & Lauren Heffker, LSU Manship School News Service

Published: May 16, 2019

BATON ROUGE–The House Labor Committee rejected bills on Thursday to let local authorities determine their own minimum wage rates and to implement equal pay measures for all women in Louisiana.

The panel voted 9-6 against the minimum wage bill.

Rep. Royce Duplessis, D-New Orleans, who sponsored the bill, said the state should not keep cities “in a chokehold and prevent them from being able to do what they think is in their best interest.”

The committee voted 9-6 to reject the bill to require equal pay for all women, including part-time workers.

In 1997, Louisiana was one of the first states to adopt the federal minimum wage. At that time, the state passed a law that revoked local governments’ authority to set minimum wages. Duplessis’ bill would have repealed that decision.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who is up for re-election, has advocated raising the minimum wage across the state for the past three years. In April, the governor also endorsed a constitutional amendment that would ask voters to decide on a $9 minimum hourly rate.

Sixteen people spoke in favor of Duplessis’ bill. Almost 100 people attended the hearing to support the bill.

Read more in KALB.

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