MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2013 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

By: Senator(s) Smith

Senate Bill 2473

AN ACT TO PROHIBIT A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY FROM ESTABLISHING A MANDATORY MINIMUM WAGE, LIVING WAGE, MINIMUM NUMBER OF VACATION OR SICK LEAVE DAYS AND TO PROVIDE FOR RELATED MATTERS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Setting minimum wage, living wage, vacation and/or sick leave days prohibited.  (1)  The Legislature finds that in order to ensure an economic climate conducive to new business development and job growth, inconsistent application of wage and benefit laws from city to city must be avoided.  While not suggesting a state minimum wage or minimum benefit package, any debate and subsequent action on these matters should be assigned to the Mississippi Legislature and not local counties or municipalities.

     (2)  The Legislature further finds that wages and employee benefits comprise the most significant expense of operating a business.  It also recognizes that neither potential employees or business patrons are likely to restrict themselves to employment opportunities or goods and services in any particular county or municipality.  Consequently, local variations in legally required minimum wage rates or mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would threaten many businesses with a loss of employees to areas which require a higher minimum wage rate and many other businesses with the loss of patrons to areas which allow for a lower wage rate and more or less vacation or sick days.  The net effect of this situation would be detrimental to the business environment of the state and to the citizens, businesses and governments of the local jurisdictions as well as the local labor markets.

     (3)  The Legislature concludes from these findings that in order for a business to remain competitive and yet attract and retain the highest possible caliber of employees, and thereby to remain sound, an enterprise must work in a uniform environment with respect to minimum wage rates, and mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days.  The net impact of local variations in mandated wages and mandatory minimum number of vacation or sick leave days would be economic instability and decline and decrease in the standard of living for the citizens of the state.  Consequently, decisions regarding minimum wage/living wage and other employee benefit policy must be made by the state so that consistency in the wage market is preserved. 

     (4)  Pursuant to the powers ultimately reserved to the state, no county, municipality or other political subdivision shall establish a mandatory, minimum number of vacation or sick days, whether paid or unpaid, or a minimum/living wage rate which a private employer would be required to pay or grant employees.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2013.