A Democrat-controlled city just sent a surprising message to the “Fight for $15” after its mayor refused to significantly raise the minimum wage.
According to WBAL-TV, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Friday she was vetoing a city council plan that would hike the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2022.
The Baltimore Sun reported that the mayor had serious concerns about the cost of the plan and the unemployment it might cause.
The city council can override the veto if 12 of the 15 city council members vote to override, but at least one of the 12 members that originally supported it said he would not override Pugh’s veto.
The staggering cost was one reason that Pugh decided to veto the bill. Her administration estimated that it would cost the city $116 million, over the next seven years, part of which would be higher wages for city workers.
The city already has a $20 million deficit and a $130 million shortfall for its public schools, which led Councilman Edward Reisinger to say that he would not vote to override the mayor’s veto.
“The mayor has some very persuasive arguments,” the South Baltimore council member said. “Baltimore City doesn’t have a money tree.”
Another fear was the fact that jobs would flee outside the city, making unemployment a bigger problem for Baltimore.
“I believe it is in the best interest of the city that we follow the state,” Pugh said.
The state of Maryland is raising its minimum wage to $9.25 on July 1. One year after that, it will rise to $10.10.
It’s surprising to see Democrats come around to the cold, hard realities of the minimum wage. However, I’m certainly not complaining, and Baltimoreans shouldn’t, either. We’ve seen time and time again how these “Fight for $15” campaigns end — with automation, lost jobs and small businesses being squeezed out.
We support Baltimore’s decision. Let’s hope other cities have similar good sense not to put burger flippers out of business by ceding to their demands.
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H/T The Daily Caller