April 5, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Baltimore, MD – Efforts to get the Baltimore City Council to override Mayor Catherine Pugh’s veto of a bill raising the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour have hit technical obstacles.
The Council, which officially received the veto Apr. 3, has only 20 days to override it—and Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young has so far refused to schedule another meeting before Apr. 24. “We feel like it’s dirty backdoor politics, and the residents of Baltimore are going to be the ones who suffer,” said Ricarra Jones, head of the Fight for $15 Baltimore Coalition. The Council passed the bill by a 12-3 vote Mar. 20, with Young voting for it. But Pugh vetoed it Mar. 24, saying it would cost the city too much and make it harder for the unemployed and people being released from prison to get jobs. She said, “the fight should continue at the state level.” The bill would have raised the minimum to $15 per hour by 2022, except for workers under 21 and businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The Maryland state minimum wage will rise to $9.25 on July 1 and $10.10 next year. Pugh, who backed the $15 minimum while running for mayor last year, told the Baltimore Sun, “I don’t think they make you swear on the Bible.” Read more