Linn County Closer To A Minimum Wage Increase

Aug 31, 2016

Linn County supervisors have approved the first reading of an ordinance raising the minimum wage above state law.  It’s an action that involves Cedar Rapids, Iowa’s second-largest city.

Linn’s ordinance hikes the wage minimum by a dollar an hour to $8.25 on January 1, 2017.  There would also be increased on the two following New Year’s Days, to $10.25 in 2019.

Supervisor John Harris objected to the built-in future increases, and voted no.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller chided the supervisors for having no plan to enforce the ordinance.

“The County does have to enforce it,” he said.  “The state is not going to enforce it. It’s our ordinance. We own it. We own the enforcement. It shouldn’t just be viewed as form over function. That’s what it could be in an election year if it doesn’t have any teeth in it. And we haven’t dedicated any resources and to my knowledge Linn County has not even spoken about dedicating resources to the enforcement of the ordinance.”

Linn’s ordinance requires two more votes before taking effect. Meanwhile, Wapello County has one more vote to go before hiking the minimum wage. Johnson County did it a year ago and is now at $9.15 an hour.   It’s scheduled to increase again to $10.10 on January 1.