Bill to cap Iowa's minimum wage would affect some counties, business owners upset

Nicola Shartrand, owner of Stay Sweet Nicola's, says she's against a bill that would change the minimum wage for some counties in Iowa.

Iowa's governor now has a bill on his desk to keep the state's minimum wage at $7.25 an hour.

If he signs it, it would affect certain counties in the state.

The Iowa Legislature passed it Monday night. It's something that not everyone is happy about, especially since it would mean a pay cut for workers in some counties.

"It seems that Iowa could do better,” said Nicola Shartrand who isn't happy about a possible minimum wage change in Iowa.

Shartrand said, "If a county already had it at a higher rate I don't believe that you can take that away from people."

Shartrand's business, Stay Sweet Nicola’s, is in Pottawattamie County. It hasn't increased the minimum wage, but four other counties in Iowa have. If a bill is passed to cap the minimum wage at $7.25 workers in those places would face a pay cut.

Shartrand said, "I don't think that's right. I think $7.25 is a very low salary."

It’s why she's paying her workers above minimum wage because as she says "I want them to be with me forever."

Matthew Mattox's business, Mad Ox Bakery, is also in Pottawattamie County. He says he's seen that some states are increasing minimum wage.

Mattox said, "People may end up migrating toward those locations more if our state doesn't remain competitive in that."

Jim Myers, co-owner of Express Employment Professionals, said, "I certainly understand that local agencies, local municipalities would like that ability because there is such a shortage of qualified labor right now."

However, Myers says he's neutral to the issue and that "virtually every client that we work with is paying well above the minimum wage so I don't know that it would necessarily change things."

Governor Branstad does support this bill. He still has to sign it. His office has not released when that might happen.

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