Clarke optimistic about minimum wage bill | WYPR

Clarke optimistic about minimum wage bill

Feb 7, 2017

Supporters of raising Baltimore's minimum wage to $15 an hour during a 2016 City Council meeting.
Credit P. Kenneth Burns

Baltimore Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said Monday that the city is in a good position to raise the minimum wage to $15 in five years.

“We’re in about the best position we can be in,” Clarke said.  “Sure, we’re coming from a setback, but we’ve surged; we’ve grown [economically] as twice the rate of the state itself.”

State budget analysts said recently property wealth in Baltimore has outpaced the rest of the state.  The Baltimore Sun reports incomes in Baltimore have grown by 4.3 percent; a third more than across Maryland, according to analysts.

Clark introduced her proposal, similar to one that died last year, at Monday’s city council meeting. It would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.  It gives companies that have annual gross revenues of less than $400,000 or fewer than 50 employees until the end of 2026 to meet the new minimum wage.

The bill Clarke introduced last spring a bill would have raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2021.  But it barely cleared a preliminary vote and was sent back to committee never to be seen again because it did not have enough votes to pass.