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Metro Council approves living wage ordinance; mayor to sign into law

Friday May 16, 2003

Media Release
For Immediate Release

For Information Contact:
Jennifer F. Brislin
502.574.4137

Patrick H. Neely
502.574.1351

The Louisville Metro Council tonight approved a living wage ordinance setting a wage floor of $9.00 an hour for fulltime city employees, and Mayor Jerry Abramson pledged to sign the ordinance into law.

The plan repealed a living wage ordinance approved late last year by the Board of Aldermen, which would have raised the minimum hourly rate of city employees to $10.20 over three years.

Democratic council members, who voted unanimously in support of the ordinance, hailed the plan as the fruit of months of debate, discussion and compromise.

"This ordinance represents the legislative process in its truest form," Council President Ron Weston said. "Pieces were drawn from both the Democratic proposal and the Republican proposal, and the end result is a compromise that we can be proud of."

Mayor Abramson called the ordinance a "responsible approach" to the issue of juggling the needs of the working poor with the reality of a tight budget forecast.

The plan would cost $72,500 to bring salaries of the 50 lowest paid employees to the wage floor of $9.00. It also includes provisions for education, transportation and child care subsidies that members of the Republican Caucus had recommended, at an estimated cost of $478,000.

Sponsor(s)

Cyril Allgeier (D)  10
Denise Bentley (D)  1
Rick Blackwell (D)  12
Willie Bright (D)  4
Madonna Flood (D)  24
Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D)  5
Robert Henderson (D)  14
Dan Johnson (D)  21
George Melton (D)  15
Tom Owen (D)  8
Barbara Shanklin (D)  2
George Unseld (D)  6
Tina Ward-Pugh (D)  9
Ron Weston (D)  13
Mary C. Woolridge (D)  3