Metro Louisville's minimum wage set to jump to $8.25 an hour Friday

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has been nearly two years since Louisville Metro Council voted to raise the minimum wage in metro Louisville, but the battle over the plan is still not over. 

It will be a 50 cent bump for anyone earning a minimum wage.

"A lot of critics said that raising the minimum wage even one cent ... we would see a lot of job losses," said Kenny Colston with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. "And we have not seen that in Louisville at all."

Metro Council passed an ordinance back in 2014 to raise minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $7.75 an hour in 2015.

Starting on Friday, that $7.75 goes to $8.25.

Next July 1, it increases to $9 an hour.

"People who are making $7.25 an hour, they cant afford the basic needs to live: apartment, food, health insurance," Colston said.

But that ordinance faced, and is still facing, strong resistance.

After a lengthy court battle from the Kentucky Restaurant Association and the Kentucky Retail Federation against the raise, the case is now in the hands of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

Arguments were made earlier this month.

"We argued to the Supreme Court that we could do this through the home rule statute," Jefferson County attorney Mike O'Connell said. "It says in the statute that the needs of urban areas are different than areas around the state."

The attorney representing the groups opposed did not return our request for comment.

Those groups argued that raising the minimum wage would hurt both the economy and the workers themselves. 

"I think we knew there was going to be pushback for organizations, and that's what's happened," O'Connell said. "At one point, one of the leaders in the community said that one cent is too much."

Opponents fear that the additional increases this year and in 2017 will have negative effects on employers and the economy.

The Supreme Court is not expected to release its ruling until later this year. 

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