Haslam Out of Step with GOP on "Living Wage" Issue

Dec 13, 2011

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Gov. Bill Haslam says he wants to leave it up to local governments to decide whether to set their own wage requirements for contractors.

Haslam's stance puts him at odds with some fellow Republicans in the State General Assembly.

Two Republican legislators have announced plans to submit a measure that would ban higher wage requirements set by local governments and repeal those standards already enacted.

Vanderbilt sociologist Daniel Cornfield says several studies are underway right now in the U.S. to determine if so-called “living wage” measures help or hurt. But at present he says there’s little evidence one way or the other.

"The debate right now is a theoretical argument, really, about whether or not - or how - government should intervene in the wage determination process."

Governor Haslam told reporters yesterday that he's "not a fan of the living wage," but that those decisions should be left up to counties and cities.