- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A law firm representing several Louisville employers has sent a letter to Metro Council members disputing the county attorney’s opinion that officials can increase the minimum wage.

The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1AGmCoJ) reports attorneys John Sheller and Timothy Eifler asked city officials to abandon the proposal made earlier this week to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 2017. They say approval of such a measure would conflict with state law.

They also presented economic arguments against approve a wage hike.

“Lack of uniformity in minimum wage rates across Kentucky would hamstring employers, cause significant job loss, and create more bureaucracy and confusion in enforcing statewide wage and hour laws,” the attorneys wrote. “As exemplified by outcomes in other areas of the country, inconsistent local wage rates could also cause unhealthy competition among neighboring communities that are already struggling because of the tepid economy.”

Their opinion conflicts with one issued by Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell, who said after researching the issue that the city could pass its own law.

O’Connell’s office said it “performed a detailed review of the issue in order to form our opinion,” but would review the arguments in the letter.

The attorneys representing the businesses wrote that the adverse effects “overwhelm any possible benefit to Louisville and Jefferson County.”

University of Louisville economics professor John Nelson told Democratic council members that he believes an increase in wages would result in more positive outcomes than negative ones.

Jefferson County has about 45,000 people who make below $10.10 an hour.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com

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