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County Board Approves “Living Wage” Ordinance

Most Milwaukee County supervisors want to boost the minimum wage for employees of companies that contract with the county.

On a vote of 12-6 Thursday, the County Board approved raising the wage to $11.33.

Supervisor David Bowen says the so-called “living wage” would ensure workers are living at 100 percent of the poverty line. He says the hike would benefit “those at the bottom of the economic ladder.”

Supervisor Deanna Alexander voted against the ordinance. She says it will result in a loss of jobs, and would cause prices to rise. She says the ordinance “might feel good to some for awhile,” but in the end, it would hurt the county, businesses and employees.

The measure now goes to County Executive Chris Abele. If he vetoes the ordinance, it still could survive, because 12 supervisors back it. It takes 12 supervisors to override a veto.

Ann-Elise is WUWM's news director.