Johnson, Linn Supervisors "Disappointed," "Frustrated" by Minimum Wage Reversal

Mar 28, 2017

The Johnson County building in Iowa City. Johnson County has the highest minimum wage in the state.
Credit Katarina Sostaric / IPR

A Johnson County supervisor said he is disappointed in the Legislature’s decision to pass a bill prohibiting local governments from setting their own minimum wages.  

Johnson County has the highest minimum wage in the state at $10.10. It would be set back to $7.25 if Gov. Terry Branstad signs the preemption bill into law.

Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan said he thinks it is a mistake for the state to “usurp local control.”

“I just feel terrible for all the folks who have gotten a raise and are now in jeopardy of losing that," Sullivan said. "I’m hopeful that most of the people who got a raise will maintain it, but I’m sure there will be some folks who will drop down.”

In Linn County, the minimum wage is $8.25 and is set to increase to $10.25 in 2019. 

Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers said the five counties with minimum wages higher than the state’s rate will have to discuss how to respond to the state legislature’s action.

Rogers said county officials took a year to consider a wage increase and how it might impact workers and businesses.

“We put together, we thought, a very sound plan based on market conditions in our community and based on the best interests of our constituencies," Rogers said. "What frustrates me is that the Legislature, within a week, just decided to strip local control.”

Polk, Wapello and Lee counties have also approved minimum wage increases.