Shame on Dereck Davis for acting like a North Carolina Republican. Davis, a Democratic state Delegate in Maryland recently introduced HB317 that would stop cities and counties from independently raising their minimum wages. Does this sound a little bit like our favorite parts of North Carolina’s HB2? It should.
Neither of these bills is anything new. Both HB2 and its cousin in Maryland are classic GOP maneuvers. For the last 40 years the GOP has based its political machinations around being the party of states’ rights. They have operated using the claim that they are fighting for smaller, more localized control of government. If you extend the argument and buy into their framework that smaller is better, then by the transitive property, municipal government is better than state government. Here, we see that this isn’t a principled stance, it’s merely a position they take when it best serves their own nefarious interests.
Davis claims that this bill aims to create uniformity for businesses across Maryland, saying that it will help attract and keep businesses in the state. When he testified about the bill before the state legislature Davis presented some vague anecdotes about businesses around the state being upset about inconsistencies in regulation. He did very little to support these claims, but continues to use them as evidence of the need for the bill. Really, this is another power grab from the Chamber of Commerce cabal and their shadowy allies. This isn’t the first time the Maryland Chamber has stifled attempts to protect workers.
The strategy of pre-emption used in Maryland and North Carolina, among other places, shows it was never about states rights. It is about protecting their own corporate interests.
If you find this as appalling as we do, make sure to give Delegate Davis a call and let him know. You can reach his office at (410) 841-3519.