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House Bill 048 — Minimum Wage

House Bill 048 — Minimum Wage

Parrish Miller
January 31, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 48 would repeal existing statutory language that prohibits political subdivisions of the state from setting a minimum wage higher than the state minimum wage.

Rating: -3

Does it increase barriers to entry into the market? Examples include occupational licensure, the minimum wage, and restrictions on home businesses. Conversely, does it remove barriers to entry into the market?

House Bill 48 would amend Section 44-1502, Idaho Code, by repealing subsection 4, which says, "No political subdivision of this state, as defined by section 6-902, Idaho Code, shall establish by ordinance or other action minimum wages higher than the minimum wages provided in this section."

This change would allow political subdivisions, such as counties and cities, to enact their own minimum wage ordinances, thereby increasing barriers to entry into the market for businesses, employers, and prospective employees.


Does it give government any new, additional, or expanded power to prohibit, restrict, or regulate activities in the free market? Conversely, does it eliminate or reduce government intervention in the market?

House Bill 48 would expand the power of local governments to regulate activities in the free market. Increasing the minimum wage distorts the natural equilibrium of the market for labor. It can also be used to manipulate the economy and force out certain types of businesses that can't operate profitably when the cost of labor is inflated by government decree.


Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

Minimum wage laws effectively prohibit voluntary contractual arrangements between employers and employees that call for wages below the arbitrary price floor instituted by government. By giving local governments the power to override both new and existing contracts, House Bill 48 would limit the freedom of contract for businesses, employers, and employees.


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