Municipal minimum wage provision criticized

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A provision in the House budget plan that would prevent municipalities from setting their own minimum wage is drawing criticism from some union and municipal leaders.

The measure is seen as a response to a Providence effort to raise hotel workers’ minimum wage to $15 an hour. A proposed ordinance is pending.

Providence Councilwoman Carmen Castillo calls the House proposal an attack on municipalities that would strip officials of their power to represent their communities.

A rally is scheduled for the Statehouse Tuesday. An organizer at a union representing hotel workers says critics want to send a message that pre-empting municipal authority is “dangerous.”

Speaker Nicholas Mattielllo’s spokesman says he believes municipalities should have a uniform minimum wage so they’re on a level playing field. The legislature is considering a raising the state minimum to $9.

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