Baltimore City Council passes $15 minimum wage bill

Baltimore’s City Council voted overwhelmingly Monday to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

With the 11-3 vote, council members brushed aside the fiscal warnings by Mayor Catherine Pugh‘s finance department and joined more affluent cities such as Seattle, San Francisco and Washington, which have passed similar measures.

“I understand how people have objections,” said City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, the bill’s lead sponsor. “This is not easy. Many people have to sacrifice here for this.”

But Clarke said the legislation was a first step toward “correcting decades of injustice” for Baltimore’s lowest-wage workers. “People are working one job, two jobs, three jobs and still often are not able to make ends meet for their families,” she said.

The council’s vote sends the matter to Pugh, who has yet to say whether she will sign or veto the bill. Her spokesman, Anthony McCarthy, said Monday she would make a decision “within the next few days.”

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