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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin at ribbon cutting.
Connecticut and Maryland recently passed legislation to increase the minimum statewide. President Obama continues to press Congress to pass a nationwide minimum wage increase.

But Oklahoma is taking a different approach entirely. Yesterday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill prohibiting Oklahoma cities from passing their own minimum wage increases. Furthermore, Oklahoma cities are now also prohibited from strengthening vacation and sick day policies:

Cities in Oklahoma are prohibited from establishing mandatory minimum wage or vacation and sick-day requirements under a bill that has been signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin.

Fallin signed the bill Monday that supporters say would prevent a hodgepodge of minimum wages in different parts of the state that could potentially harm the business community.

Opponents say those decisions should be left up to individual communities. They complain the bill specifically targets Oklahoma City, where an initiative is underway to a establish a citywide minimum wage higher than the current federal minimum wage.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

Congratulations on preventing 17 percent of the population in Oklahoma, many of whom work full-time, from improving their lives:

For a disproportionately high number of Oklahomans, a job does not provide a ticket out of poverty. Oklahoma has the nation’s third-highest rate of people working at or below the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A single parent who works full-time at minimum wage and has one or more dependents still falls below the poverty line.

“The face of the poor for us are generally people who are working,” said Andrew Rice, executive director of Variety Care Foundation, which supports a group of low-cost health clinics across the state.

“It seems there was a time when having a job was the key to not struggling,” Rice said. “Now, having a job, particularly if it’s part-time, does not necessarily mean all your economic problems are going to go away.”

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Tue Apr 15, 2014 at 06:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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