INDIANAPOLIS | Every local government in Indiana is set to lose its authority to regulate most aspects of private-sector employment.
The Republican-controlled Indiana House voted 54-40 Monday for Senate Bill 213, prohibiting local governments from requiring any employer provide a benefit, term of employment, working condition or attendance and leave policy more generous than required by federal or state law.
State Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said allowing local governments to set employment standards -- such as a higher minimum wage or requiring paid sick time – has a “chilling effect” on businesses coming to Indiana.
“This bill recognizes that every mandate or experimentation on business comes at a cost ... it sends a message far beyond the jurisdiction's lines,” Speedy said.
The legislation, which is backed by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, was previously approved 38-12 by the Republican-controlled Senate.
It now goes to the governor.
Several House Democrats said the measure sends a message to local officials that the General Assembly thinks they can't be trusted.
"I don't believe we need to be creating, once again, a one-size-fits-all we're going to look out for you and be Big Brother," said state Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage.
State Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said the Legislature shouldn't shut down experimentation in every community just to stop the leaders of some cities from requiring businesses pay a living wage.
“They have to stand for election just like we do,” Pierce said. “If they pass ordinances that hurt businesses, that drive out economic development, that over-regulate people to the point where they feel frustrated – guess what, somebody is going to run against them and make that an issue.”