ltimore's City Council, pushed by a group of freshmen members seeking dramatic changes, gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill to raise the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

That would be the highest minimum wage in the state of Maryland — nearly $5 an hour higher than in surrounding counties.

"Today is a day I've waited for a long time," Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke said after the 12-3 vote.

Clarke, lead sponsor of the bill, said it would bring about "economic equity" in Baltimore, making life better for some of the city's poorest workers.

"It's time now to share the wealth," she said.

The measure still needs one more vote to advance to the desk of Mayor Catherine Pugh. She pledged during her campaign to support a $15 minimum wage, but recently expressed concern about the bill's impact on businesses. She has not said whether she will sign the bill or veto it.

The vote Monday — which had a wide enough margin to override a mayoral veto — comes about half a year after the previous City Council narrowly rejected a similar proposal. But November's election swept into office eight new Democrats, most of whom are seeking widespread changes to how the city runs.

Voting in favor of the legislation were City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young, Vice President Sharon Green Middleton and council members Zeke Cohen, Brandon Scott, Ryan Dorsey, Bill Henry, Kristerfer Burnett, John Bullock, Edward Reisinger, Robert Stokes, Shannon Sneed and Clarke. Read more at Baltimore Sun