The saga continues in Baltimore with the proponents of a 71.4% minimum wage increase collecting 7 of 11 votes cast by the 15 member Baltimore city council to advance the bill to a final vote coming on Monday.  Of the 4 councilors not voting, 3 abstained and the fourth was absent from the vote this week.  Eight votes will be required next week to pass the legislation.  The proposal calls for establishing a Baltimore minimum of $9.50 in July 2017 with $1 annual increases thereafter until 2022 when the final (as of now) increase of $1.50 would bring the city minimum to $15.  Lame-duck Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (she of the April 2016 “we also gave those who wished to destroy, space to do that as well” school of riot control) has gone on record saying she will sign the law if it gets to her desk.  Unemployment in Baltimore City is currently 6.5% (June 2016) while the national rate is 5.1%