Birmingham council votes to expedite minimum wage increase, Wintry Weather in Alabama

Feb 9, 2016

The Birmingham City Council is increasing in the local minimum wage a little earlier than expected.  The council voted today to move the implementation date of the wage increase to March 1.

The council had the idea in August to establish an hourly minimum wage of $8.50 by July 2016; and $10.10 by July 2017, with increases afterward tied to inflation.

Alabama has no state minimum wage and uses the federal minimum of $7.25.

Council members who support the proposal say it's meant to help low-wage workers escape poverty. Opponents have said the change could stall economic development.

Council President Johnathan Austin says city leaders are aware of opposition to the proposal at the state capitol.

Old man winter is expected to be back with a vengeance over much of Alabama. Temperatures are colder than normal today and some areas can expect some snowfall.

The National Weather Service forecasts amounts of anywhere from a half-inch of snowfall in the Huntsville area and close to an inch in northeastern Alabama.

Kris White is a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. He says there may be a break in the all the bone chilling conditions right after Valentine’s Day.

“Below normal this week, part of next week and then temperatures may begin to flip and we may start to get a warmer pattern of warmer than normal temperatures would be favored in the third week of February.”

The average low for this time of year is thirty-four degrees... tonight’s low is expected to be twenty-five degrees. 

Advocates for the homeless are keeping an eye on the plunging temperatures tonight and tomorrow night.

The city of Birmingham is opening up Boutwell Auditorium to house up to three hundred people with no place to go.

Don Lupo is the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Citizens Assistance for the City of Birmingham. He says that donations of food for the homeless are always welcome during the frigid weather…

“A lot of people that live on the street don’t have the capability of a can opener. So if they bring can goods, which we encourage, bring the ones that have the pop tops. It just makes it easier on the guy, or the lady that’s living out here to get into.”

A campaign rally by Democratic Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders last month meant that Boutwell was unavailable as a homeless shelter for people trying to escape the cold that night.