During the 2016 campaign, Catherine Pugh was one of dozens of Democratic politicians calling for the implementation of a $15 per hour minimum wage.
Since being elected mayor of Baltimore in November, though, Pugh has changed her mind about the merits of forcing employers to pay such a high hourly rate. Last week, Pugh announced she would veto a $15 minimum wage bill passed by city council, citing concerns about how it would hurt the city’s economy, nonprofits and charities working in the city, and the city government’s bottom line.
After doing “some research,” Pugh said at a press conference on March 24, “it is not appropriate at this time that I will sign this bill, so I am vetoing this bill.”
Pugh said the bill would not be in the best interest of Baltimore’s 76,000 unemployed workers and would drive businesses out of the city to the surrounding counties.
The minimum wage increase would drive up costs for the city government too. Over the next seven years, the Pugh administration estimated the bill would cost the city $116 million, including the expense of paying city workers a higher minimum wage, The Baltimore Sun reported.