The debate over raising the minimum wage has taken on new urgency this week with the governor granting some state workers at least $10.10 per hour and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council holding a public meeting on a similar ordinance.
Arguments across the state left the purely theoretical realm Monday when Gov. Steve Beshear signed an executive order boosting some state workers’ wages to at least $10.10 per hour. Later the same day, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council held a public meeting on a plan to do the same locally.
The change at the state level, which will affect only certain executive branch employees, takes place July 1. The current minimum wage in the state is $7.25 an hour.
“When people work hard at a full-time job, they should have enough money to live on,” Beshear said in a statement. “Right now, at minimum wage, they don’t. That’s unacceptable.”
The proposal in Fayette County is being backed by council member Jennifer Mossotti, who represents the city’s 9th District. Mossotti’s proposal would phase in the increase over three years, beginning in July.
“I believe that we must continue to work to ensure that we are helping full‐time workers earning the least, pay for today’s essentials like food, housing, transportation and child care,” Mossotti said in March in an email to fellow council members.
The council is expected to vote on the ordinance in the coming weeks.