Baltimore Sun: Baltimore City Council moves toward passing $15 minimum wage bill

By Luke Broadwater
The Baltimore Sun, March 6, 2017

Baltimore's City Council, pushed by a group of freshmen members seeking dramatic changes, gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. ..."Today is a day I've waited for a long time," Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said after the 12-3 vote. ...

But some area businesses backed the idea. Josh Keogh, the co-owner of Baltimore Bicycle Works, called paying a "fair wage" a "great investment" for his company.

"Gradually raising the minimum wage to $15 will give customers more money to spend at local businesses like ours, and that will be good for our economy and our city," he said.

The minimum wage in Maryland is $8.75 per hour, set to rise to $10.10 an hour by 2018.

The bill would exempt workers under 21 from the wage hike and give businesses with fewer than 50 employees until 2026 to comply with the $15-an-hour wage.

Despite support for the bill, some advocates said they are disappointed with the exemption for younger workers. ...

Advocates supporting the bill commissioned a poll of 400 registered city voters by The Mellman Group that found widespread support for the bill, with only 6 percent opposed. ...

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