Georgia’s ALEC local cheap labor law

Did you know in 2005 Georgia passed a cheap labor law even more draconian than its ALEC model Local Minimum Wage Preemption Act?

Here’s the law, 2005-2006 Regular Session – HB 59 Minimum wage mandates by local governments; change certain provisions, sponsored by who else but resigned-in-disgrace for promoting an Agenda 21 talking points film at the statehouse Chip Rogers, who nonetheless also sponsored the successful charter school and multi-year contract constitutional amendments. HB 59 took effect 1 July 2005. Here’s the part that matches the ALEC model Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act:

ALEC Living Wage Mandate Preemption Act 34-4-3.1(a)(6)(b)

(1) Any and all wage or employment benefit mandates adopted by any local government entity are hereby preempted.

(2) No local government entity may adopt, maintain, or enforce by charter, ordinance, purchase agreement, contract, regulation, rule, or resolution, either directly or indirectly, a wage or employment benefit mandate.

Here’s the part that goes beyond even what ALEC proposed:

(c) No local government entity may through its purchasing or contracting procedures seek to control or affect the wages or employment benefits provided by its vendors, contractors, service providers, or other parties doing business with the local government entity. A local government entity shall not through the use of evaluation factors, qualification of bidders, or otherwise award preferences on the basis of wages or employment benefits provided by its vendors, contractors, service providers, or other parties doing business with the local government entity.

Why such a law? ALEC spelled it out:

Section 2. {Legislative Declarations.}

This legislature finds and declares that:

(A) Economic stability and growth are among the most important factors affecting the general welfare of the people of this state, and that economic stability and growth are therefore among the most important matters for which the Legislature is responsible;

(B) Mandated wage rates comprise a major cost component for private enterprises, and are among the chief factors affecting the economic stability and growth of this state;

(C) Local variations in mandated wage rates threaten many businesses with a loss of employees to areas which require higher mandated wage rates, threaten many other businesses with the loss of patrons to areas which allow lower mandated wage rates, and are therefore detrimental to the business environment of the state and to the citizens, businesses, and governments of the various political subdivisions as well as local labor markets;

(D) In order for businesses to remain competitive and yet attract and retain the highest possible caliber of employees, private enterprises in this state must be allowed to function in a uniform environment with respect to mandated wage rates; and

(E) Legislated wage disparity between political subdivisions of this state creates an anticompetitive marketplace that fosters job and business relocation.

Translation: cheap labor keeps business profits up, and if any localities can raise their minimum wages labor might flock there instead. So (A) really means business profits are more important than the general welfare of the people of this state or local control of local government.

Does that seem right to you?


1 thought on “Georgia’s ALEC local cheap labor law

  1. Garry Gentry

    Our economy is never going to recover as long as the special interests are able to hold “Labor’s” share of the national income down to a level where 40% of workers in this country make less in inflation adjusted wages than someone making minimum wage in 1964. In addition, the alleged “Conservative’s” talk about States rights and local control and yet pass laws designed to protect the monopoly corporate interests and restrict local control.

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