Saturday, April 7, 2007

Screw You, Hippies!

Representative Cooper takes on the Great Unwashed of People-Powered Politics

In a naked display of disdain for the will of the people, MO State Representative Shannon Cooper (R-Clinton) has decided he needs to muck up a perfectly good solution to a problem caused by the recent passage of Proposition B (The Minimum Wage Act) back in November.

When Proposition B became law, missing ballot language caused an inadvertent revocation of Federal rules regarding how overtime is calculated for certain types of essential employees, specifically, law enforcement officers, fire fighters & emergency medical technicians.
Cities and fire departments complained that the change wreaked havoc on their scheduling and budgets.

Fire departments often use 24-hour shifts, and some police and sheriff's offices use 10- or 12-hour shifts that may result in employees working more than 40 hours in a particular week. The state previously followed a federal wage law that lets police work up to 171 hours and firefighters up to 212 hours in a 28-day work period without earning overtime.

But the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said the ballot measure requires all employees to get overtime after 40 hours, with no exceptions. That would mean a firefighter on a 24-hour shift could not work two days in the same week without triggering overtime.
Rather than forcing local governments to pony up millions of dollars in unforeseen overtime funds, the State Senate formulated a bill (SB 255) which simply "reinstates the Federal overtime standards in place before the passage of Proposition B (2006) including exemptions for firefighters, commissioned employees, and flex-time rates."

Enter (un)Representative Cooper. In his capacity as Chairman of the House Rules Committee, he is determined that SB255 will not leave his committee, unless the "inflation adjustment is taken out of the new minimum wage law." Believing that the 76% of Missouri voters (71 - 77% in his own district) choosing to adopt Proposition B were simply too stupid to read ballot language & did not know what they were voting for, he is determined to save us from ourselves.
Cooper and other Republicans have concluded that voters didn’t understand what they were considering. “People were unaware of the consequences when they voted for this,” Cooper said

This is what Cooper thinks we were too stupid to understand.

Shall Missouri Statutes be amended to increase the state minimum wage rate to $6.50 per hour, or to the level of the federal minimum wage if that is higher, and thereafter adjust the state minimum wage annually based on changes in the Consumer Price Index?
I dunno, seems pretty vague to me. No wonder 3 out of every 4 voters in the state were so verily hoodwinked. Thank Jeebus for (un)Representative Cooper. Save us from ourselves, Shannon!

Cross posted at Welcome to the Revolution