$15 minimum wage bill vote postponed

A City Council bill that would raise Baltimore City's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 is still alive. But it's in hospice care.

As the final vote began, City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke (14th District) stopped the vote and asked that the bill be sent back to the Labor Committee so that it can be amended to conform with a federal law governing pay for disabled people. The amendment is titled "Exceptions – Miscellaneous."

Before Clarke could explain the amendment she's proposing, Councilman Eric Costello (11th District) called for the roll-call vote on Clarke's motion to return the bill to committee. The motion got eight votes, with six voting against and one councilman, Carl Stokes (12th District), abstaining. 

The bill is as good as dead, one councilman said privately, and that seems likely. Stokes is on record as a "no," and Councilman Robert Curran (4th District and a yes vote) said he would not let the bill out of committee unless it has eight votes on the floor of the full council. Once this council's term ends, all the bills that haven't yet passed will be dead anyway, so Clarke's gambit appears to have given the $15 minimum wage bill a private euthanasia instead of a public execution.

Click here for more from Edward Ericson Jr. or email Edward at eericson@citypaper.com

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