The plan would require companies Milwaukee County contracts, to pay their workers at least $11.33 an hour.
Supervisors serving on the Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee voted 7-2 in favor of the proposed minimum wage. The full board will vote February 6.
One supporter, Sup. Bowen said after Thursday's vote: "This was not only a brave thing to do, it was the right thing to do. There was much opposition to a living wage ordinance from the County Executive and others who said an increase in the federal or state minimum wage would be more appropriate. But those increases won’t happen."
Bowen praised President Obama for mandating a minimum wage of $10.10 for contractors that do business with the federal government.
An opponent of a county minimum wage, Sup. Steve Taylor said: "This measure is misguided, unrealistic and the taxpayers of Milwaukee County simply cannot afford it. It will drive away development from Milwaukee County and do more harm than good for those that supporters of this measure claim it will help.”