This past week, Lexington local government officials voted to hold up a proposed minimum wage ordinance hostage in committee giving as excuse that they want to see how Louisville's more modest proposal survives. Only hours later, Louisville's minimum wage hike to $9 over three years was validated by a circuit court. See more at the Courier-Journal article here. You can read the judge's decision here (.pdf file).
Meanwhile, two major employers in the public sector have made big statements of their own about the need for raising the minimum wage here in one of the poorest states of the nation:
- Governor Steve Beshear has, as of July 1, 2015, ordered that the minimum wage for employees of the executive branch of state government from $7.25/hour to $10.10. In addition tipped state employees (mostly wait staff at state parks) has gone from $2.19/hour to $4.90. See more at the press release from the Kentucky Labor Cabinet.
- President Eli Capilouto successfully convinced the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees to raise UK employees' minimum wage to $10 (against the advice of his faculty in the College of Business & Economics, e.g., Dr. Kenneth Troske, William B. Sturgill Professor of Economics who spoke so convincingly to the LFCUG Committee last week). See the President's blog for his presentation to the board a couple of weeks ago about the University's budget - and in the Powerpoint posted there (on page 11) you will find the small item (with a big impact) about raising the starting minimum wage to $10/hour. This comes a little more than a year after the University of Louisville had raised the minimum wage for its employees to $10/hour - bringing the rate to $11/hour by 2017 (read more about the UofL initiative here).