Oklahoma’s cities and counties are banned from setting their own minimum wage standards under a bill signed into law Monday by Gov. Mary Fallin.
“Senate Bill 1023 protects our economy from bad public policy that would destroy Oklahoma jobs,” Fallin said in a prepared statement. “Mandating a minimum wage increase at the local level would drive businesses to other communities and states, and would raise prices for consumers.”
Fallin’s action appears to thwart efforts by an Oklahoma City group that had been circulating a petition calling for a local vote on whether to increase the city’s minimum wage from the national standard of $7.25 an hour up to $10.10 an hour.
Oklahoma City attorney David Slane, who serves as spokesman for the group circulating the petition, said his coalition is contemplating its next move.
“Of course we’re disappointed that the governor and the Republican Legislature stood in the way of the people having the right to vote on whether they want to raise minimum wage,” Slane said. “We’re looking now at the possibility of a constitutional challenge to the law that was signed because we think that it abrogates the people’s right to have an initiative petition. ... We’re going to explore all options, including the possibility of a statewide initiative petition.”
Most minimum wage workers are young, single people working part-time or entry-level jobs.”
Gov. Mary Fallin,