- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Discussion of a proposal to raise the minimum wage in Lexington will continue Monday during a public hearing.

The Urban County Council heard initial comments at a meeting in March about raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour over the next three years, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports (http://bit.ly/1KWu9sY). Because of time constraints, nearly 20 people who signed up to speak were unable to do so at that meeting.

Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti said Monday’s hearing will enable those people to give the council their input.

Backers of the proposal say raising the minimum wage would benefit 31,000 workers who are currently making less than $10.10 an hour.

“There is such a misconception of who is a minimum-wage worker. Many think it’s a high school student who is working after school,” Mossotti said. “The data shows it’s a white, female age 20 to 34 who has graduated high school and has some college education who is working retail and makes less than $10.10 an hour.”

Community businesses who opposed the increase said it would make it difficult for small businesses to compete against businesses in adjoining counties whose minimum wage remains at the federal minimum. Others said they are concerned that raising the minimum wage will make it difficult for students or other people seeking jobs for the first time to enter the workforce.

It’s not clear when the issue will come up for a vote before the council’s Budget, Finance and Economic Development Committee.

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