- Associated Press - Monday, September 14, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - A proposal to prohibit Alabama cities from raising the minimum wage for workers got heated debate - but not a vote- Monday in the House of Representatives.

Lawmakers debated the bill by Rep. David Faulkner, R-Mountain Brook, on the House floor but ultimately delayed a vote. The bill was introduced after the Birmingham City Council voted to raise that city’s minimum wage to $10.10-per-hour by July 2017. Faulkner said it was not on anyone’s radar that Alabama municipalities might try to set, or raise, the minimum wage.

Faulkner said the state shouldn’t have a patchwork of different minimum wages. He said he believes that moves to raise the minimum wage will cause businesses to move, close or not hire.

“I really believe when you raise the minimum wage, you reduce jobs,” Faulkner said.

The proposal sparked harsh criticism from Democrats who said a lawmaker from a wealthy Birmingham suburb shouldn’t try to restrict what the cities do.

Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, said local governments are capable of deciding what the minimum wage should be in their areas.

Alabama does not have a minimum wage above the federal minimum of $7.25-an-hour.

“No one can live on $7.25-an-hour. No one can raise a family on $7.25-an hour,” England said.

England said prices have gone up, but that wages of low-income workers have not.

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