Q&A: A look at Cleveland’s $15 an hour minimum wage battle

CLEVELAND (AP) — A group seeking to raise the minimum wage in Cleveland to $15 an hour is considering its options after lawmakers rejected legislation that was created by a union-backed petition drive.

Wednesday’s council vote was no surprise. Council President Kevin Kelley along with Mayor Frank Jackson have repeatedly said raising the minimum wage in Cleveland alone would have a devastating effect on the city’s economy by causing businesses to close or cut jobs.

Raise Up Cleveland argues that the increase is badly needed in a city with one of the country’s highest poverty rates. It’s expected the group will try to get the issue before voters.

Voter approval will likely trigger a court battle with Cleveland being joined by other Ohio cities and the state’s attorney general in opposing an increase.