Bill barring most local wage, work regulations clears first hurdle

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers are considering a proposal that would prohibit local governments or city officials from regulating the work hours or wages of private employees.

The measure would outlaw local regulations that require employers to give benefits, paid vacation time or higher than minimum wages to private employees unless a state or federal law requires them to do so. The measure would exempt any local regulations related to business attraction, recruitment, or retention programs.

Kansas representatives gave the measure first round approval with an 81-34 vote Thursday.

Critics say the bill would strip local governments of the authority to decide what job regulations are best for their area. Supporters contend that the measure would prevent government interference in private businesses.