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Legislature passes bill to ban local regulations limiting information employers can ask for

The state House has sent a bill to Governor Rick Snyder that forbids local governments from adopting ordinances dealing with questions employers may ask in job interviews.

The bill would expand an existing ban on local regulations that limit the information employers can ask for. It’s an effort to preempt local rules that bar asking about salary histories and criminal backgrounds. There are no such local regulations in Michigan, but they have been adopted in other states.

Democratic state Representative Donna Lasinski those are decisions that should be left to local elected officials.

“[This bill] is preempting the implementation in local communities of good ideas that we could use to bring prosperity and growing wages to our communities,” says Lasinski.

Democratic state Representative Jeremy Moss was a “no” vote.

“This is just another Lansing solution in search of a problem, and it merits no support,” he says. Moss agrees that these decisions belong with local elected officials.

“And if something is introduced at the local level that we don’t like here in Lansing, there are avenues for our constituents to petition against their council members, and kick them out of office if they don’t like their policy proposals. They elected them in the first place.”

The bills were adopted by the House and the Senate on largely party-line votes. The Legislature has also outlawed local regulations on guns, drones, junk food taxes, and plastic bags.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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