Louisville mayor has concerns about minimum wage ordinance - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville mayor has concerns about minimum wage ordinance

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says he has concerns about the proposal to increase the minimum wage in Louisville.

The proposal to raise the wage over three years from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour has prompted vigorous debate at City Hall.

Supporters have launched an education campaign to generate support and one person they'll need to convince is Mayor Fischer.

"I'm all for an increase in the minimum wage at the federal level. That makes it easy for everybody, and there's a level playing field," Fischer told WDRB News.

While Fischer says he supports raising the wage nationally, he's not convinced it's best for Louisville to step out on its own.

"What we want to make sure on the local level is that we don't have any unintended consequences of jobs moving just across the county line or across the state line, as well," he said.

It's the same concern expressed by Greater Louisville, Inc. the city's chamber of commerce, which opposes the ordinance.

"If you're a business that's competing in an open-bidding environment where you have to show your labor rate to whoever your supplier is, and it's all just about that rate, then there's a legitimate chance that those jobs will be lost," said Fischer.

"So, we need to understand how many of those jobs there are in the community before we weigh out the positive side of paying people more."

"I think those concerns that he has are valid, and I think they are things we need to look at," said council member Cheri Bryant Hamilton, who is a co-sponsor of the ordinance.

She believes an education campaign will address those concerns, and she's confident enough of the 17 Democrats on the 26 member council will favor raising the wage, with or without Fischer's support.

"All we need is 14 [votes], and every day sponsors are signing on, so I think we're building momentum," she said.

For now, the mayor remains on the fence.

WDRB News asked Fischer if he knows yet whether he would sign the ordinance if it came to his desk

"No," said Fischer. "Because we haven't heard from the community, yet."

The council will hold a series of public hearings before taking a vote.

Supporters want that vote to happen by the end of this year before two co-sponsors leave the council.

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