Family Values @ Work

Applauding MN Governor Mark Dayton for Standing Up for Democracy

Applauding MN Governor Mark Dayton for Standing Up for Democracy

May 31, 2017

Statement from Family Values @ Work Applauding MN Governor Mark Dayton for Standing Up for Democracy

The coalitions in the Family Values @ Work network applaud Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for taking a strong stand in support of local progress. Governor Dayton has fulfilled his pledge to veto a bill that would have taken away the right of local elected officials to approve wage and benefit levels higher than those set by the state.

As the Governor pointed out, state government’s role is to set a floor, not a ceiling, for workplace protections. Local officials who have been elected by constituents in their communities must have the right to approve higher wage and benefit levels to meet the needs of their residents.

Minneapolis and St. Paul have already passed paid sick and safe day legislation set to go into effect this July 1. A strong coalition in Duluth is preparing to join them. The preemption bill sent to Governor Dayton would have stolen those wins, along with local efforts to raise the local minimum wage. Minnesota activists saw what happened in neighboring Wisconsin, when another coalition in our network led a successful fight for paid sick and safe days in the city of Milwaukee. Corporate lobbyists turned to conservatives in the state legislator to overturn that win — and Governor Scott Walker signed that bill into law. Afterwards the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, took the idea of preemption to other states in an effort to stop our movement.

But our movement has persisted. Some 40 jurisdictions in the U.S. have now passed paid sick days measures and more wins are on the horizon. Governor Dayton has refused to stand with the likes of Scott Walker and Mike Pence. Instead, he has taken a firm stand on the side of working families, small business owners, public health, and democracy.

We salute leaders like Governor Dayton who refuse to be bullied by conservative legislators and their corporate backers. And we salute our partners in Minnesota for engaging so many people in this long and successful fight.

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