|David's Dad GOP Rep Al Novstrup At The Legislature|
Is He Arguing To Take Money Away From Kids Who Work?
(photo from Twitter.com)
Sorry, Senator Novstrup, but I have no intention of leaving "that" out of it, because "that"
just happens to be the crux of this conflict that you want us to ignore. From the addendum below it's clear that Senator David Novstrup resolved the conflict in his favor by voting in 2011 for a law that exempts his amusement business from minimum wage requirements. In the piece from the Aberdeen American News, Novstrup says that even if passed, the bill won't affect local businesses because many places there hire people to start at $9 or $10 an hour. He says he has only one employee under the age of 18, so the bill will have "zero impact on our business." It's unclear as to how he came up with that "one employee" part--his amusement center doesn't open until April. But I don't see much relevance anyway. SB 177 gives businesses across-the-board the right to exercise the option Novstrup already has, namely ignoring existing minimum wage requirements.
|Great Place To Play In Aberdeen|
Great Place To Work If You're A Kid? Maybe Not.
(photo from www.thunderroad.info)
The whole point of the minimum wage law that was passed by SD voters last Fall is that it takes away that option in the first place. Novstrup's counterparts in other businesses may not use it now, but it makes a nice fallback for those who hire young workers and can gain some economic leverage over them. Passing a law that creates conditions that could prove as favorable to the other businesses as it is to the Novstrups makes it possible for them to extend the already favorably resolved conflict of interest to the businesses (including the lobbyists at South Dakota Retailers Association) that support SB 177.
Taking the Novstrups' personal business out of the equation doesn't change the odious nature of the bill. That it gives legions of other employers the authority to stick it to their youngest hirees is bad enough, that it provides no enforcement mechanism to back up the bill's mandate that employers can't fire older, more expensive workers and replace them with youngsters for less money makes SB 177 even more obnoxious. And as if odious and obnoxious weren't bad enough, the bill's flat out repudiation of what the voters of South Dakota wanted last Fall makes the whole mess stink to high heaven.
ADDENDUM (added at @1444 3/8/15): Over at Dakota Free Press, Senator Novstrup calls attention to a South Dakota law (SDCL 60-11-3) passed in 2011 that already exempts his amusement business from the minimum wage law. Senator (then Representative) David Novstrup voted in favor of the law on February 9, 2011. Get that? David Novstrup (curiously his dad Al voted against it, possibly concerned about the appearance of a conflict?) voted in favor of a law that exempts his business from minimum wage laws. Was this a conflict of interest or merely the appearance of a conflict of interest? You decide. I already have. Meantime, for all practical purposes, the Novstrups and their exempted business are indeed out of the equation on SB 177, though they stand ready to provide numerous other businesses in South Dakota with the same opportunity to pay young workers less money than their adult counterparts. Some folks sure dislike our young people in this state, don't they? And P.S. Why do amusement parks get a break on minimum wage requirements for young workers in the first place? What's so special about them?