Linn County Minimum Wage Ordinance
The Linn County Board of Supervisors approved a minimum wage ordinance that will raise the minimum wage in Linn County by one dollar per year for three years beginning January 1, 2017.
The vote by the Board of Supervisors passed three readings (Aug. 31, Sept. 7 and Sept. 12) on a 4-1 margin. The ordinance will apply within the unincorporated areas of Linn County, Iowa and within any city or portion of any city within Linn County that has not enacted a conflicting ordinance.
The new minimum wage rates will be as follows:
- $8.25 as of January 1, 2017
- $9.25 as of January 1, 2018
- $10.25 as of January 1, 2019
The exceptions from the minimum wage requirements stated in Iowa Code Section 91D.1(2) apply to Linn County's ordinance.
Background on Minimum Wage Discussion in Linn County
The Linn County Board of Supervisors, on March 7, 2016, appointed a study group to explore the potential impact of raising the minimum wage in Linn County. Members of the study group represented local employers, service providers, citizens, municipalities and policy makers in local governments. The group was formed to report back to the Linn County Board of Supervisors.
The study group held meetings March 31, May 12 and June 20, 2016. All meetings were open to the public. Meeting agendas and minutes are posted on Linn County’s website www.linncounty.org.During its June 20 meeting, the study group voted to recommend increasing the minimum wage in Linn County to $8.25 per hour on January 1, 2017 (a $1 increase from the current minimum wage of $7.25 per hour) and to reconvene after the end of the legislative session in 2017, if needed. The motion passed, although not all study group members voted for the recommendation, including Linn County Supervisors Ben Rogers and Jim Houser who did not want to be tied to the amount of $8.25 when the decision comes before the Board of Supervisors. The recommendation is non-binding on the Board of Supervisors.
The Linn County Board of Supervisors discussed the study group’s recommendation and the process the Board of Supervisors will use to make a decision on the minimum wage issue during the June 27, 2016, Board of Supervisors meeting.
The Board of Supervisors decided to gather additional input, including reaching out to municipalities for their input on the study group’s recommendation before proposing a minimum wage ordinance for Linn County. An ordinance requires three readings at public meetings to pass. Cities have the option to opt out of a minimum wage ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors.
Public Forum - August 18, 2016The Linn County Board of Supervisors held a public forum on August 18 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The forum was moderated by KCRG's Bruce Aune and aired lived on channel 9.2. Panel members included Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers; Peter Fisher, Research Director at the Iowa Policy Project; Sofia Mehaffey, member of the Linn County minimum wage study group; and Richard Pankey, local business owner.
During the August 29, 2016 Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Ben Rogers presented demographic information from the Iowa Policy Project about minimum wage earners in Linn County and wage rates needed to meet basic needs in Linn County. The information also included the percentage of students on free and reduced lunches in the Cedar Rapids Community School District.
- Ben Rogers, Linn County Supervisor
- Jim Houser, Linn County Supervisor
- Nick AbouAssaly, Mayor of Marion
- Jill Ackerman, Marion Chamber of Commerce
- Aaron Anderson, Ely City Administrator
- Mark Boies, representing small business owners
- Ron Corbett, Mayor of Cedar Rapids
- Kim Etzel, Marion City Council
- Karla Goettel, Cedar Rapids citizen
- Don Gray, Mayor of Central City
- Julie Lammers, representing small business owners
- Pat Loeffler, Carpenters Union
- Effie McCollum, representing minimum wage earners
- Sofia Mehaffey, Horizons
- Rick Moyle, Hawkeye Labor
- Kirsten Running-Marquardt, State Representative
- Susie Weinacht, Cedar Rapids City Council
- Chris Wheeler, representing the Metro Economic Alliance
Wichtendahl, Hiawatha City Council