Baltimore’s City Hall is mulling a controversial new mandate that, if passed, would require any business with a city contract of “at least $300,000 or any project that gets a city subsidy of at least $5 million to hire Baltimore City residents for at least 51 percent of new jobs,” WBALTV 11.
“In these tough economic times, good faith just isn’t good enough anymore,” said City Council President Jack Young.
Unsurprisingly, a few have questioned the constitutionality of a bill that forces (“requires”) Baltimore business owners to hire residents (as opposed to the best candidate for the job).
“We’re not trying to tie their hands or anything. All we’re saying is give back to Baltimore in the form of jobs,” Young told 11 News reporter Kate Amara. “I mean, we lead the state in the unemployment rate (at 10.2 percent).”’
Young noted that similar hiring programs in Boston and San Francisco have been met with some success.
Still, those “opposed to the proposals said they saddle jurisdictions with high administrative costs and act as a barrier to industries looking to relocate,” 11 TV notes.
“I don’t think it will block anyone from coming to Baltimore. It didn’t block anybody from coming to Boston, and it didn’t block anybody from going to Washington,” he said, adding that the proposal will get Baltimore “back to work and drive more tax dollars into the local economy.”
“It’s going to lead to other opportunities for other businesses, as well,” he said.
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