Here’s This Dem Councilman’s Issue With The $15 Minimum Wage


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Baltimore Democratic City Council President Bernard Young warned Monday that an initiative to raise the city minimum wage to $15 an hour could cost new jobs.

Young was among a group of city council members who attended the annual International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas. While there, he spoke with business owners about expanding operations to Baltimore, and some retail and restaurant businesses at the convention warned a $15 minimum wage would deter them from moving to the city.

“Some are saying that now is not the time to be doing this,” Young told The Baltimore Business Journal. “They said that the $15 per hour is going to hurt the city of Baltimore. They asked me to try to figure it out. Maybe now is not the time for us to be doing this.”

Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke is leading the push to raise the city minimum wage to $15 an hour. She introduced a bill April 18 to make Baltimore the latest city to enact the policy. The Council’s Labor Committee is preparing to discuss the measure during an upcoming public hearing.

Minimum wage supporters argue it could help lift people out of poverty. The higher wages means those at the bottom of the income ladder could start buying more basic necessities, which would benefit the general economy. Those opposed, however, warn the policy could force employers to cutback their workforce or raise prices to overcome the added cost of labor.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found any increase of the minimum wage could result in at least some job loss. New York and California both became the first states Apr. 4 to raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour. Advocates have also seen victories on the city level starting with Seattle in June 2014.

The Fight for $15 has been at the forefront of the minimum wage push, utilizing media marketing campaigns and protests to garner support for the increase. The movement launched what it claimed was the biggest protest Apr. 14, which involved rallies in cities across the country.

Clarke did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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