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City Council members to amend $15 minimum wage bill, keep trying for passage

A City Council committee plans to vote today on amendments to a proposal to raise Baltimore's minimum wage to $15 an hour — part of an effort to try to pass the legislation before year's end.

A City Council committee plans to vote today on amendments to a proposal to raise Baltimore's minimum wage to $15 an hour — part of an effort to try to pass the legislation before year's end.

Councilman Robert W. Curran, chairman of the labor committee, said he expects to pass amendments to the minimum wage bill this afternoon that would address concerns from advocates for blind workers who worry the bill would inadvertently allow disabled workers to be paid less than those without disabilities.

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Meanwhile, Curran said, he and others on the council are lobbying colleagues to get one to change their stance on the proposal.

"By keeping it alive for another month, we still have a shot," Curran said. "If we don't get one of them to flip, we're not going to bring it out. It ain't dead, but it's on life support."

Last month, supporters of the proposal failed to muster the votes for passage at the City Council and instead sent the bill back to committee and an uncertain future. Chief sponsor Mary Pat Clarke pledged to continue to look for the additional vote needed to pass the measure, even if that meant waiting until a new council takes office after the November election.

Seven of 15 City Council members have pledged support for the bill. It needs eight votes to pass.

The legislation would raise the minimum wage in Baltimore in phases until it reached $15 an hour by 2022. The Maryland minimum wage increased to $8.75 an hour last month en route to $10.10 an hour by 2018.

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