Legislators identify priorities on workplace regulations

Legislators identify priorities on workplace regulations

Opposing new labor mandates on Minnesota businesses is among the Minnesota Chamber’s top priorities for the 2017 Legislature. Following are Q&As with Senator Jeremy Miller and Representative Pat Garofalo.

Senator Jeremy Miller
R-Winona
Chair, Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee

Senator Miller was elected in 2010 and is serving his third term.

What’s the goal of the Uniform State Labor Standards Act?
The goal is to keep labor standards related to wages, benefits, and scheduling fair and consistent throughout the state.

What would you say to people who stress the importance of local policy control?
The Uniform State Labor Standards Act allows local governments to pay wages and provide benefits of their choosing. It does, however, prevent local government from setting minimum labor standards for private-sector employers. Workers have different needs and wants when it comes to wages, benefits and scheduling, and this is best negotiated between the employee and employer. You can’t get any more local that the relationship between employees and employers.

Representative Pat Garofalo
R-Farmington
Chair, House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee

Representative Garofalo was elected in 2004 and is serving his seventh term.

What’s the goal of the Uniform State Labor Standards Act?
The goal is to continue the tradition we have had in Minnesota for over 100 years in keeping our labor standards consistent at a state level. This act would prevent a patchwork of completely different rules that would make it very difficult to do business in Minnesota.

What would you say to people who stress the importance of local policy control?
Local control is important and works well with many policies including zoning and property taxes. With that, however, certain policies should remain uniform at the state level. For example, we have one criminal code and one banking code.