- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Hardin County officials say they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that overturned a local law banning mandatory union membership.

U.S. District Judge David Hale invalidated the so-called “right-to-work” law on Wednesday. He said only state governments have the authority to opt out of a federal law allowing mandatory union membership.

Republican lawmakers have been trying for years to pass such a ban statewide. They say it would give companies an incentive to locate in Kentucky. Democratic lawmakers have opposed a ban, saying it would diminish the influence of labor unions and lead to lower wages.

Hardin County was one of 12 counties to pass such a ban in 2015. Meanwhile, Louisville and Lexington increased the local minimum wage, a workplace policy Democrats support but Republicans oppose.

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