Expected heated debate and protests at the State Capitol this afternoon when the Minnesota House takes up a bill that would override Minneapolis and Saint Paul’s sick leave ordinances. The bill would also prohibit cities, counties or townships from having a minimum wage higher than the state’s minimum wage, or enacting regulations on work hours, scheduling, benefits or working conditions. There are exceptions for local government employees and when local governments provide financial assistance to employers. Backers of the bill say they want uniform statewide standards to avoid a confusing patchwork of local regulations. Opponents say local communities should be able to ensure that their workers make a living wage and receive other reasonable benefits. Governor Mark Dayton says the bill is the business community’s attempt to keep wages down in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.