WASHINGTON — The National Restaurant Association is challenging state lawmakers who want to set minimum wage increases based on the annual increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
According to the NRA, six states have ballot initiative proposals to set minimum wage increases on autopilot for an annual increase based on the CPI, which historically has ranged from an average 3 percent per year up to as high as 14 percent.
The NRA said this will not only be troublesome during periods of high inflation or bad economic times, but will be particularly harsh in Colorado, Nevada and Ohio, where the wage policy will actually be amended to the state constitution.
These three states would set themselves apart from the federal minimum wage, which is not in the U.S. Constitution, and nearly every other state in the nation, the NRA said.
"The Colorado, Nevada and Ohio proposals take very dangerous economic wage policies one step further by cementing them in the constitution," said Tom Foulkes, NRA vice president for state relations. "Legislatures will be powerless to make emergency adjustments during an economic downturn and the only recourse will be to amend the constitution again either in the next campaign cycle or in a special election."
Foulkes said both options are extremely costly ways to fix poor policy.