This Baltimore Democrat Is Highly Opposed To The $15 Minimum Wage


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Baltimore Democratic City Council President Bernard Young warned Tuesday he will vote against a proposal to raise the citywide minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Young is unlike most Democrats due to his opposition to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He first noted concern over the policy May 23 when he spoke with business owners at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers convention in Las Vegas. Young has now made clear he will not vote for any minimum wage above $11.50 an hour.

“We cannot continue to try to lead the state in these fiscal times that we have in the city of Baltimore,” Young said, according to the Baltimore Business Journal. “I think this is the fairest way to do it.”

Baltimore wouldn’t be the first city to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. Seattle became the first in the country to enact the policy in June 2014. New York and California both became the first and only states Apr. 4 to raise their minimum wages to $15 an hour. The Baltimore measure is designed to phase in the increase over the next few years.

“We just can’t do $15 … I think even $11.50 is a stretch, but I think it’s a compromise,” Young continued. “Anything other than that, I will not be voting for this bill.”

Economists have debated for years over the impact higher minimum wages have locally and nationally. The Economic Policy Institute found the $15 minimum wage would have a positive impact for 98,000 Baltimore workers, at 27 percent of the total workforce. The Greater Baltimore Regional Business Leaders warned it will cause decreased job opportunities.

The $15 minimum wage has grown in popularity in recent years as a way to fix income inequality. The Fight for $15 movement has been at the forefront of the policy push since it started in 2012. The policy might even hurt poor, unemployed people find jobs. The current federal minimum wage is at $7.25 an hour.

The Fight for $15 movement and Young did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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