BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s City Council will once again consider a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Backers lost the “Fight For $15” last year, but new legislation is expected to be introduced at tonight’s council meeting.
Under the bill, the wage would gradually increase over several years.
Maryland’s minimum wage is already on its way up. It currently stands at $8.75, and that’s due to increase to $10.10 by 2018.
While the city is sticking with that schedule, just like the rest of the state, sponsors of the city bill propose an additional incremental raise to $15 per hour by 2022.
The bill potentially makes Baltimore a leader as far as workers are concerned, but there’s some worry that it would put businesses at a competitive disadvantage.
“Cities that stand for $15 increases and fair minimum wages do not find themselves at a disadvantage in terms of competition with surrounding counties,” says councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke. “Now, that doesn’t mean that people are not concerned, and they have every right to be.”
Count Bob Simka, of Max’s Taphouse in Fells Point, among the concerned.
“I just want to point out the fact that, coming from basically a small business as a manager and I’ve been here 22 years, we’re pretty much shocked and appalled that our elected officials in city council have no idea what it takes to run a business, have no idea what it takes to make payroll,” he says.
While the bill failed in August, a new city council indicates stronger support.
The bill was introduced to city council on Monday night. It will still be some time before it goes to a vote.