Louisville becomes 1st city in the South to raise minimum wage, joins 20 cities across country

Associated Press

Louisville has become the first city in the South to raise the minimum wage, joining 20 others across the country.

The Louisville Metro Council voted Thursday to raise the minimum wage to at least $9 per hour by 2017. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25.

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The National Employment Law Project says Louisville is the first city in the South to raise the minimum wage. The increase will happen over three years. After that, it will increase with the cost of inflation.

It does not apply to employees who work for tips or small businesses with sales less than $95,000 per year.

The vote followed months of debate about the benefits of higher wages for the poor versus the impact on local businesses.