Changes are in the works for Burlington's controversial livable wage law. Monday night city councilors took up the topic and decided who should qualify.
The Council began by saying not everyone would like the changes they're presenting, but they believe it will reinforce the city's committment to solving the controversy surrounding the livable wage.
Those changes include: Those who lease property at the airport will no longer be subject to the livable wage requirements, including car rental companies, airlines and in-airport restaurants and vendors.
But seasonal and temporary employees employed by the city for at least four full years will qualify for the livable wage in their fifth year if they work a minimum of 10 hours per week.
The Council says additions to the ordinance, as well as others, will be closely monitored and enforced.
"On behalf of the local businesses, having a local airport with reliable service in and out of the community is very important for what makes it possible for folks to do business here and what is part of the decision process for businesses who want to locate here," said Kelly Devine of the Burlington Business Association.
"We never got data as to how the airlines or other people could not afford to pay livable wage and I think that if we're going to do something so regressive, such as carving something out of the original ordinance, that is data that we need to see and not have it just be some sort of anecdotal evidence or some comment from one person," countered Marigo Farr of the Vermont Workers' Center.
The City Council says it still needs to do a second reading before the amendment becomes law. That is scheduled to take place in October.
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