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Living Wage Bill to Rise From The Grave?
The Baltimore Sun
Julie Scharper

August 9, 2010
View the Original Article

Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young signed a petition today asking the council to reconsider a living wage bill introduced by Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke.

The bill would require stores that gross more than $10 million annually, or are part of a chain that does, to pay workers the state living wage, which is currently set at $10.59 per hour. It was killed by a tie vote a couple weeks ago in a subcommittee hearing led by Councilman Warren Branch.

But the bill could bypass the subcommittee move back to the full council for consideration if eight of the 15 members sign a petition.

So far, Clarke has seven signatures and was scouting about after today's luncheon work session trying to find an eighth member.

Clarke drafted the measure after hearing about plans for a new Walmart in Remington. Labor and progressive activists support the bill, but business leaders say it would dissuade chains from opening in stores in the city.

If Clarke gets the eight backers, the bill could come before the full council as soon next month. So far, she has signatures from Belinda Conaway, Sharon Green Middleton, Bill Henry, Carl Stokes and Bobby Curran, in addition to Young. Council Vice-President Ed Reisinger has said he would vote for the bill, but would not sign a petition.