With Republicans in full control of nearly two-thirds of state legislatures, both houses of Congress and now the White House, city halls have become a last bastion of Democratic power in many places between the coasts, including Missouri.
And with little hope for cooperation with pro-business and socially conservative state lawmakers, mayors and city councils have adopted their own rules raising minimum wages, decriminalizing marijuana and extending discrimination protections for LGBT residents.
Statehouses are fighting back.
At least 12 states, including Missouri, have passed legislation preempting local minimum wage laws in the past four years. Fifteen states bar cities from mandating employers to provide paid leave. Missouri is looking to join 32 others banning local rules on ride-hailing companies like Uber and three others blocking anti-discrimination laws.
Statehouses say their intervention keeps cities from creating a patchwork of rules that are confusing and unfair to businesses and their employees.
But Rep. Jason Chipman, R-Steelville, who is sponsoring a bill to block St. Louis’s minimum wage hike, notes that, “It’s the state’s job to protect all of its citizens, not just the ones outside where they want to create their little bubbles.”
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch