Lexington Council Trying to Find Compromise on Minimum Wage

Sep 11, 2015

Lexington Council Debate on Minimum Wage
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Two proposals to raise the minimum wage in Lexington are now before city council.  Council member Susan Lamb on Thursday detailed an alternative proposal to that offered by colleague Jennifer Mossotti.  Lamb’s plan boosts the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour over three years, compared Mossotti's proposal of $10.10. Mossotti says another difference is her draft includes a provision for tipped employees.  “We have to get over that first hurdle, we’re going to move forward with the basic increases in minimum wage, then we’ll go to the next step,” said Mossotti.

Mossotti admits it could come down to a compromise with $9.50 an hour at year three.  Both plans propose increases each year beginning in July and include tying future increases to the consumer price index.  Vice Mayor Steve Kay suspects it could take a month or two to work out an agreeable compromise.  “There’s enough agreement about the need to increase the minimum wage," Kay said.  "The question now is what the level is going to be."

Council member Kevin Stinnett asked his colleagues to also consider a payroll tax break for low income workers as an option.  “We have the power as a council to abate a 2.25 percent for our very lowest workers and that would put money into their pockets immediately," Stinnett said. "They wouldn’t have to wait a year.  They would get it in their paychecks day one."

Any further action is likely to come during a future work session of council.