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Lexington Council Moves Forward on Minimum Wage


After months of debate at city hall, Lexington’s city council has acted to move the minimum wage proposal forward.  A final vote will take place next month. A key sponsor says it took concessions before the measure could win initial approval.

If approved, the ordinance would, in phases, increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over almost three years.  Vice Mayor Steve Kay says more than 20,000 citizens would see immediate benefits.  “We know that there are people who are working at minimum wage who will be able to afford better housing, better clothing for their children, and better food,” said Kay.

The proposal passed by a vote of eight to six. Fourth District Council Member Jennifer Scutchfield cast one of the no votes and predicted a lawsuit, if final approval is given.  “I go back every single time to the fact that I don’t think a local government can make this law,” said Scutchfield.

Mayor Jim Gray didn’t say whether or not he would veto a minimum wage hike, but he did say he believes it’s a matter that deserves congressional attention.  “And their refusal to take up the debate means it’s given to the cities and jurisdictions like the cities and that’s wrong and it’s irritating,” said Gray.

The original proposal was modified to remove two provisions: one to tie future increases to the consumer price index and another requiring employers to pay any difference for tipped employees.  Council member Jennifer Mossotti says the concessions were needed in order for the measure to pass.  A final vote is scheduled in mid-November.?

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