MITCHELL: Other states choose sovereignty, but not Mississippi?

It’s Rep. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, who again filed legislation to remove Mississippi from the list of five states – just five – with no minimum wage law of any type.

Baria’s bill would set a minimum of $9 per hour for private employers. Interestingly, and perhaps to make it more palatable to his colleagues, Baria’s bill would not apply to state workers. Anyway, this may be the last you read about a minimum wage law for this state. House Speaker Philip Gunn is on record saying the free market should decide wages. If last year’s pattern is repeated – only bills favored by the leadership made it to the floor – Baria’s bill will disappear.

The one chance is for lawmakers to realize the more workers make, the more taxes the state collects. But even that will not likely be enough.

Again, the history and effect of a government-set minimum wage is debatable. What is beyond debate is that more and more states are deciding Congress doesn’t always know what’s best. On the topic of worker pay, they’re saying, “We’ll handle it.”

And it’s certainly interesting that Mississippi, where the concept of state sovereignty as ordained in the U.S. Constitution is considered sacred, will shrug. Other states are deciding what’s best for their economy, their workers. The Mississippi Legislature keeps leaving it up to Congress.

Charlie Mitchell
Ole Miss
NE MS Daily Journal