Advocates plan to sue after Minneapolis blocks $15 minimum wage proposal


People in Minneapolis won't be voting on whether to up the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour this November.

The Minneapolis City Council voted 10-2 Friday to block a charter amendment proposal that would have raised the minimum wage over the next few years.

This formal vote comes after a city council committee voted Wednesday to block the proposal. City Attorney Susan Segal had said the proposal didn't meet legal requirements for a charter amendment, and it should be the subject of an ordinance instead.

Supporters for the amendment – including 15 Now Minnesota – disagree, saying the thousands of signatures they collected on a petition meet the rules for putting a proposed amendment to the city charter in front of the people for a vote.

15 Now Minnesota says it will file a lawsuit against the city. The group plans to meet over the weekend to discuss its next steps to raise the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour.

They'll consider it again next year

Advocates for a $15 dollar an hour wage emphasize the boost it would give thousands of workers and their families.

Analysts writing for Bloomberg and Forbes have said a $15 wage is higher than the market can sustain and predict it would lead to job losses.

City council members did approve a measure that orders city staff to work on a minimum wage ordinance.

The Office of City Coordinator will work with "stakeholders," review policies from other cities, review results from a forthcoming minimum wage study, and recommend a minimum wage policy that will be presented to the Committee of the Whole by the second quarter of 2017.

Police liability insurance

The Minneapolis City Council also voted Friday to block another charter amendment proposal from the November ballot that would require police officers to carry professional liability insurance.

The city attorney said this proposal also doesn't meet legal standards to be a charter amendment.

The Committee for Professional Policing, which wants premium increases for police misconduct to be paid by the officer, also plans to file a lawsuit, saying the city attorney's opinion on the amendment is "absolutely wrong."

"There is nothing manifestly unconstitutional about our amendment, and there is nothing manifestly unconstitutional about police accountability," Michelle Gross, of the Committee for Professional Policing, told the Star Tribune.

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