To the editor:
Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, wants to ban living wage ordinances before they "hurt economic development by driving businesses out of state."
Folks testifying for the ban? Yoder, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and a few Kansas chambers -- NOT including the Lawrence chamber -- allegedly because these ordinances "drive away economic development because they force businesses to pay higher wages."
But, as they all admitted, not one of them had any evidence that the Lawrence ordinance was causing any problems!
Yoder had to admit that he hadn't even talked to Lawrence city officials about the effects of Lawrence's 2003 ordinance!
One opponent, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, couldn't come up with a single example -- NOT ONE -- of his claim that "living wage ordinances had caused economic disruption." When asked, he said, "I have not researched that."
And, of course, there's the reality that the only living wage ordinance in Kansas, the one in Lawrence, doesn't FORCE anyone to do anything. No business has to pay higher wages. They only have to pay a living wage if they want to get a tax abatement.
Oh, for those of you champing at the bit to put me down for being some sort of knee-jerk liberal? Don't waste your breath. I am a small business owner and landlord in Lawrence. I do not want to subsidize businesses that pay sub-living wages. It's got nothing to do with "Marxism." It has everything to do with "their" tax breaks costing ME money, and I'm not in business to lose money.