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Council Now Considering Competing Minimum Wage Proposals


The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council held a Committee of the Whole Meeting Thursday on raising the city’s minimum wage.

It continues debate on a draft ordinance proposed by Ninth District Councilmember Jennifer Mossotti earlier this year.

The measure would gradually raise the city’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by the year 2018, as well as provide an increase to tipped minimum wage that is tied to the Consumer Price Index.  There  were concerns about deleterious effects on business, job losses, and the possibility of a $10 wage pushing some low-income earners off public assistance. To address this, 4th District representative Susan Lamb suggested an alternate rate of $9 per hour by 2018. 

“I’m trying to keep it from going into that area, I call it a gray area, shaded area, where people are going to be without assistance,” she said.

While some councilmembers got behind this alternative proposal, others disagreed.   Vice Mayor Steve Kay said most of the relevant research says job dislocations are minimal and sometimes statistically irrelevant. 

“But in my mind, you balance that against the potential 31,000 people who presently earn less than $10.10 an hour who stand to benefit over the next three years from these increases, he said.” 

While the council remained deadlocked on the exact proposal to adopt, they agreed to gather more information on the effects of the two rates and the CPI  Kay says until he meets with the law department, there is not a clear timeframe for further action. 

Chase Cavanaugh first got on the air as a volunteer reader for Central Kentucky Radio Eye, a local news service for the visually impaired. He began reporting for WUKY in February 2012, after receiving his Master’s degree from the University of Kentucky’s Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce.
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