- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - The Jefferson County attorney has issued a legal opinion saying Louisville officials can set a minimum wage in the city.

Media report that Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell told Metro Council members in a letter that they could pass an ordinance setting a higher minimum wage than the rest of the state without conflicting with state law.

“This office is of the opinion that there is no bar under Kentucky law that would prohibit Louisville Metro Government from adopting a minimum wage ordinance,” O’Connell said in the letter.

The opinion comes in response to a request from Councilwoman Attica Scott. She is part of a Democratic majority on the council who have voiced support for an increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

Scott and other council members said they plan to introduce an ordinance for a gradual increase.

“We stand on the precipice of transforming the lives of at least 61,000 people in Louisville who can barely make ends meet because they are paid minimum wage,” Scott said in a statement.

Council President Jim King said he hadn’t seen the letter Monday afternoon, but that the “idea has merit.”

Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement that officials will consider the idea.

“We’ll be reviewing the opinion and will be working with the Metro Council and businesses and community leaders to determine if there is common ground that we can reach on the minimum wage.”

State lawmakers considered a proposal earlier this year to raise the minimum wage statewide, but it did not pass.

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