“This is a step forward the city has taken when no other municipality on this side of the country has taken this action”, he said.

Critics of Portland’s ordinance, which raises the basic wage from the state minimum of $7.50 to $10.10 an hour, say its language on enforcement procedures is too vague and could leave the city unprepared if it receives a flood of worker complaints after the ordinance takes effect.

Shaul says if Kansas City raises the wage, the issue will likely go to Missouri district court, and potentially the state Supreme Court.

“We will bear the brunt of all the lawsuits and legal shenanigans”, Ford said.

The Bangor City Council held a public hearing Wednesday night on a proposed ordinance that would increase its local minimum wage.

They can accomplish that by mandating a higher minimum wage in Kansas City.

Tipped wages have been the primary concern of city restaurant owners, with Steve DiMillo, of DiMillo’s on the Water, among the most vocal about keeping the state wage as the base pay. Ultimately, Mayor Sly James and council members should endorse a modest boost that will increase over time.

The minimum wage would rise again on January 1, 2017, to $9.82 an hour, and be followed by annual increases until it hits $13 an hour in 2020.

And though he supports raising the minimum wage significantly, Tauheed worries that a modest increase wouldn’t make a significant impact on low-wage worker income, but would put workers above a cap that would end up disqualifying them for SNAP benefits and child care tax credits. The ordinance was opposed by Councilors Ed Suslovic, Nick Mavodones Jr. and David Brenerman.

“I think we’ll probably see something on the ballot in 2016 if the General Assembly fails to react to raising the minimum wage or adjusting it in some way”, Shaul said. She said it is unlikely that any city employer is unaware of the minimum wage increase because it has been well-publicized.

The liveable wage ordinance petition was drafted and circulated by the Green Independent Party, including District 2 City Council candidate Mako Bates.

The ordinance also recognizes numerous same overtime exemptions now contained in the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, including exemptions for agricultural workers, employees in bona fide executive, administrative, or professional positions, and commissioned employees under section 7(i) of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Proponents of excluding teens from the new ordinance argued that they want to make sure young people – for whom getting a job can be both very hard, and very helpful in the future – have a shot at that first rung on the employment ladder.