Mayor says he supports decision
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 19, 2014) — The Louisville Metro Council came to a compromise on the minimum wage hike proposal, agreeing on Thursday night to raise the minimum wage to $7.75 by July 2015, to $8.25 by July 2016 and $9 by July 2017.
The Louisville Metro Council labor and economic development committee on Monday voted 3-2 in favor of raising the minimum wage. The proposed wage hike would raise the minimum wage to $8.10 on July 1, 2015, $9.15 on July 1, 2016 and $10.10 on July 1, 2017.
Mayor Greg Fischer said on Wednesday that he supports raising the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour—which could lead to an annual salary increase of $3,120 for a person working full-time—but he’s not willing to gamble losing 2,000 existing jobs by going to a higher rate and “hurting the very people we are trying to help.” Fischer had said he would veto a hike to $10.10.
In a statement in response to the vote Fischer said: “I’m pleased with the council’s vote, appreciate their hard work on this important issue, and look forward to signing this ordinance into law. I will support $9 over three years because it is a balanced compromise solution that gives hardworking families a raise while minimizing the risks of job losses in our city.”
Several Louisville businesses—such as Greater Louisville Inc., Mesa Foods and Packaging Unlimited—have expressed concern that raising the minimum wage will adversely affect business and result in lost jobs.
“The ordinance passed in tonight’s Council meeting far exceeds the Mayor’s $8.75 line in the sand, especially when tied to the Consumer Price Index,” Kent Oyler, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., said in a statement.
“We urge Mayor Fischer to keep his commitment and veto this ordinance,” Oyler wrote. “We as a community must to be focused on pro-growth policies, not policies that limit business attraction and create uncertainty for businesses that have chosen Louisville as home. GLI still contends that a local minimum wage increase is outside the legal authority of Metro government and is not an effective tool to alleviate poverty.”
There are 35,000 jobs in Louisville that pay $9 an hour or less and 2,200 jobs that pay $8 hourly or less, according to Census data.
Four states have voted recently to raise their minimum wages (Arkansas, $8.50; Nebraska, $9; South Dakota, $8.50 and Alaska, $9.75)