Linn supervisors set to discuss minimum wage increase

Board to meet Monday; public forum Thursday at Cedar Rapids library

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Linn County supervisors this week will hold their first discussion as a full board on a countywide minimum wage increase.

The meeting comes days before the board hosts a forum to gather public input on a potential wage ordinance.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss a proposed minimum wage ordinance, wage rate increase schedule and timeline during its 9 a.m. Monday informal meeting at the Jean Oxley Public Service Center, 935 Second St. SW.

The county’s board-appointed minimum wage working group in June recommended supervisors raise the countywide minimum wage a dollar an hour to $8.25 in January 2017, but the board is not bound by the recommendation.

On Thursday, the county will host a minimum wage forum — set for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Beems Auditorium, 450 Fifth Ave. SE — to gather public comments on the potential ordinance.

Forum panelists are to include Linn County Supervisor Ben Rogers, Iowa Policy Project Research Director Peter Fisher, local business owner Richard Pankey and minimum wage study group member Sofia Mehaffey.

Attendees will be able to submit written questions during the event.

KCRG-TV9’s Bruce Aune is set to moderate the forum, which will air live on KCRG 9.2.

Eventually, the board plans to vote on whether to pass a countywide wage ordinance.

Johnson County was the first in Iowa to adopt a higher minimum wage ordinance. The ordinance passed the five-member board last year, and this May marked the second of three 95-cent an hour increases to the county rate. On Jan. 1, it will reach $10.10 an hour.

A handful of small communities in Johnson County have passed counter ordinances.

Polk County also is considering a wage ordinance and supervisors in Wapello County voted last week to schedule a hearing on the idea.

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