CP Photo: Kaycee Orwig
Allegheny County Council knocked down a veto challenge from Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald last night, ending a drawn-out tussle over a new minimum wage bill for county employees.
Fitzgerald announced last week
he had reached for his veto pen despite knowing he lacked the numbers to survive a council override vote unless he could persuade at least one of the 10 members who helped pass the bill
on June 6.
At stake is a new minimum wage schedule that will apply to all salaried and hourly employees of the county, with incremental raises taking effect over the next few years until reaching a $20 hourly rate in January 2026.
Fitzgerald stated in a press release yesterday his veto reflected a belief that council lacked authority to oversee salary and other personnel matters. He maintains he otherwise supports the principle of raising staff salaries.
"I have consistently advocated for an increase to the minimum wage as many of the current and former council members have noted. I have supported increases to the state and federal minimum wage and haven’t just talked about what others should do," Fitzgerald said in the release. "Ultimately, my veto was about the separation of powers set up in the county’s Home Rule Charter."
Fitzgerald also indicated he is seeking additional legal counsel from the county solicitor and may file in court for a declaratory judgment against the bill.