The Minimum Wage Debate
In a few hours, the Baltimore City Council is to vote on whether or not to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. The city currently follows the state minimum wage of $8.75 an hour. The proposal says small businesses--with fewer than 25 employees or less than a half a million dollars in gross annual income-- would not have to pay the higher minimum. Proponents say raising the basement wage is crucial to attacking poverty, in a city where one out of four residents is below the poverty line. They cite data showing the proposal would boost the incomes of more than one-fourth of workers in the city. Business advocates argue the proposal would backfire, killing jobs by pushing some businesses to move out of the city. Our guests: Ricarra Jones, political organizer with SEIU 1199, and Cailey Locklair Tolle, president of the Maryland Retailers Association.