A town in Iowa just voted to lower the minimum wage

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With attempts to raise the state's minimum wage stalled in the split Legislature, Iowa's Johnson County recently voted to raise the rate within the county to $10.10 an hour by 2017.


A town within Johnson County is now saying, "No thanks."

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported city councilors in Solon, Iowa, a small Johnson County town of about 2,200, voted unanimously last week to reject the increase and maintain the current state and federal level of $7.25 an hour.

The Solon council members don't seem to think there are many employees in town who make minimum wage. Their main concern, according to The Gazette, is with the workers who currently make $10 an hour.

“Even though they don’t have employees at $7.25, every person needs a bump. If you start people at $10, they have people at $10 that have been working there for a year, you have to bump that person to $12 or $14," council member Mark Prentice said, according to The Gazette

Nate Willems, a former state legislator for Solon, wrote a guest editorial in The Iowa City Press-Citizen criticizing the deal, calling it "the first time any elected city council has voted to lower the minimum wage in American history." That's a difficult claim to prove, although some searching on the subject didn't seem to turn up any counter examples.

The Gazette reports the Johnson County city of Swisher (population 921) will consider a similar rejection of the minimum wage next month. But in the county's main population center of Iowa City (population 71,591), it remains law.


In the meantime, people making $10 or less in Solon know who to thank for the raise they're not getting.