One Win, One Loss on Soda Taxes

Two other states sent questions to the voters about soda taxes and the voters gave one a yes and the other a no. Oregon voters rejected Measure 103 by an overwhelming margin of 57 – 43%. The proposal would have banned most new taxes on grocery items – especially soda and other sugary beverages. The…

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Soda Tax Preemption in Washington

Voters in Washington State will have the opportunity to do the same thing that California legislators did a few months ago when I-1634 is on the ballot in November. Initiative-1634 is an initiative petition that would prohibit local communities from levying new or increased taxes, fees or assessments on raw or processed foods, beverages, or…

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Miami Beach Minimum Wage Goes to Court

The appeal by Miami Beach of lower court rulings that blocked implementation of a separate local minimum wage has been accepted for review by the Florida Supreme Judicial Court. You may recall that Miami Beach passed an ordinance back in 2016 increasing the minimum wage within the city to $13.31 by 2021. The ordinance passed…

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Soda Tax Issues Go To Voters

Soda taxes have been challenged by business interests across the country and have largely been given the judicial green light more often than not. In at least two jurisdictions over the next few months, questions surrounding the tax will go before the voters over different issues. First, in Boulder Colorado, which implemented a 2 cents-per-ounce levy…

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A Potpourri of Minimum Wage Efforts

The drumbeat continues to ring out across the country with efforts ongoing to raise the minimum wage to higher levels by whatever means necessary with some, but fortunately not all of those efforts succeeding. First on the negative side of the ledger, “Raise Up Missouri” has submitted 120,000 signatures in support of a November ballot…

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New Jersey Does Pay Equity & Sick Leave

In the past two weeks, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed two bills into law that his predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, had held at bay for years. The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act cleared the legislature earlier in April and Murphy, who had campaigned on the issue, made good on his promise to…

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Philadelphia Soda Tax

There seems to be a lot more “he said, she said” over the Philadelphia soda tax and how much that money grab is affecting small businesses in the city. Last month, the Controller criticized the administration for not spending the funds as originally intended but rather salting most of it away (74% or $63 million…

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State Preemptions

As more municipalities get involved in mandating what have historically fallen within the purview of the state or federal government, the notion of passing state preemptions becomes more important. On the matter of salary history bans, the state of Michigan recently took precisely that action, sending Senate bill 353 to Governor Rick Snyder for his…

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“Fair Workplace” Movement

The phrase has its roots in New York City, but now so-called “fair workplace” bills are under serious consideration in the state of Connecticut as well as the city of Philadelphia. Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy announced his support for a slate of “fair workplace” bills that includes expanding the state’s paid family and medical leave…

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More Minimum Wage Mischief

Technically, the Fight for $15 began at the start of this decade with President Obama pushing an increase in the federal minimum wage in his 2010 State of the Union address, but the effort continues at full speed in state houses and town halls across the country. In North Dakota, advocates are planning to put…

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