Updated: Linn County supervisors stick with Jan. 1 date for wage hike

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County Supervisors at the last minute decided to stick with the January 1st date for a new higher wage in the county.

Linn County Supervisors Wednesday, December 14th.

Supervisor Brent Oleson requested the delay until July 1, 2017 because he believes state lawmakers will throw out all county wage ordinances this session. Oleson said rapid changes wouldn't be fair to both workers and employers.

"What I'm trying to prevent is a business owner who pays $8.25 January 1st and is then told in March we'll do a 50 cent increase," Olson said.

Two supervisors, Ben Rogers and Stacey Walker, immediately opposed the idea saying the county made a promise and should keep that promise to lower-wage workers.

Supervisor John Harris was in favor of the delay.

Oleson believed he had the support of Supervisor James Houser as well. But when the formal vote came Wednesday afternoon, Houser said he had changed his mind.

Houser said he had received new information that led him to believe the county should stick with the first of three planned wage hikes on January 1st.

"Linn County residents need to keep the feet of lawmakers to the fire when that discussion comes up in January and say this is not what we want. We want our local control and we want what our board of supervisors has passed," Houser said.

The county's minimum wage is set to go to $8.25 an hour on January 1st and then go up an additional one dollar an hour on January 1, 2018 and 2019.

The vote by supervisors to keep the January 1st date for a higher county minimum wage was 3-2.