In the span of a week, lawmakers in the Idaho House voted to ban cities and counties from banning plastic grocery bags and took up a bill that could ban cities from increasing the minimum wage.
That’s after Hailey residents voted five years ago on a bag ban, and McCall residents voted last year on a higher minimum wage.
Supporters of both pieces of legislation say they're business friendly bills that would keep laws the same across the state.
Gary Moncrief is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Boise State and co-authored the book “Why States Matter.” He studies legislatures across the country. He says such bans are not unusual.
Moncrief says the conservative state legislature is exerting its control over more progressive cities. And he says there’s not much cities can do about it, since they're not sovereign units.
“The state created them, the state can do away with them, the state can take them over. We’ve seen the state take over the administration of schools in New Jersey for example in some cases, so local governments are pretty much at the mercy of the state,” says Moncrief.
The bill to ban plastic grocery bags has passed the House. The bill to ban cities from hiking the minimum wage will get a hearing in the House Business Committee.
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