February 25, 2016
By Steve Wishnia
Birmingham, AL. – With the city of Birmingham scheduled to raise its minimum wage to $8.50 an hour in July, the Alabama Legislature is moving to block it. The state House on Feb. 16 voted 71-31 to prohibit cities and counties from setting a minimum wage, sending the bill to the Senate.
In response, Birmingham City Council President Johnathan Austin proposed an ordinance raising the city's minimum wage to $10.10 on Wednesday, Feb. 24, instead of in July 2017 as originally scheduled. "We have legislators down in Montgomery who are taking a stance reminiscent of George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door against equal access to education," Austin said. “The state of Alabama and all of its citizens need to know what Jefferson County's legislative delegation members are doing to inhibit access to fair wages.” Rep. David Faulkner, the anti-minimum bill’s sponsor, lives in the affluent Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook. As Alabama has no state minimum wage, the lowest-paid workers there get the federal minimum of $7.25. Read more