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Louisville Minimum Wage Fight Could Delay Lexington Action

Josh James

The attorney for a group of Louisville business owners says he intends to take the fight over the city’s newly-instituted minimum wage to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Louisville’s new base wage of $7.75 an hour may have gone into effect Wednesday, but opponents are vowing to overturn the ordinance, which they argue constitutes an illegal overreach by local government.

"This is purely about governmental power and whether metro government has the power to do this, and it is certainly our position that only the U.S. Congress and the General Assembly have the power to raise the minimum wage. I don't dispute that they have that power. Metro Council does not," Attorney Brent Baughman tells WDRB-TV.

Down the road in Lexington, Urban County Council members have put the debate on pause while questions surrounding the ordinance are sorted out.

"I think there's a lot of time between the legislation being passed there and it being effective there," Fifth District Councilman Bill Farmer said last week. "And I think that time is going to be fraught with a lot of legal issues and a lot of money being spent on behalf of the issue that I personally believe we can watch."

Legal experts testifying before the council warned the fight over the wage increase could last months or even years.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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