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Ohio Attorney General Argues Minimum Wage Laws Must Be Handled by the State, Not Locally

Mike DeWine

Ohio’s attorney general is jumping into the debate over raising the minimum wage in Cleveland by saying it should be handled by the state instead of on the local level. 

Attorney General Mike DeWine says the Ohio Constitution gives the power to raise the minimum wage through laws, which he says only the state legislature can pass.

“Based on that we believe that the correct reading of the constitution is that cities cannot pass their own minimum wage laws.”

Several cities in the state, including Cleveland, are considering passing ordinances that raise the minimum wage.

DeWine says those ordinances aren't laws and would face legal challenges. The opinion could provide some political cover for local officials who might be hesitant to vote on such a measure.

Ohio’s minimum wage, which is currently $8.10, is set to increase based on inflation every year.