New bill includes amendments meant to protect small business
The Baltimore City Council’s Labor Committee approved a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The bill has introduced amendments to protect small businesses by exempting them from the bill’s regulations.
Originally, the amendments defined a small business as 50 or fewer employees with a gross annual income under $500,000. After revisions, the exemption will apply to small businesses that make less than $500,000 and have 25 or fewer employees. Franchises and chains are still subject to the wage hikes regardless of the size or income of the company.
The bill now moves into its second-reader phase before it is voted on by the entire City Council on August 8th.
It is unclear whether or not the bill will past because it has drawn mixed reviews and split the council. Council President Bernard “Jack” Young said he would not support a bill that proposes more than an $11.50 minimum wage because the city simply can’t afford it.