The decision regarding raising the minimum wage in Washington could be made in November.
As many as 360,000 petition signatures have been filed by the supporters of the increase of minimum wage. The count is 10,000 more than required to appear on the November ballot.
If it takes effect, the minimum wage would be increased to $13.50 an hour in the next four years and also provide employees the facility of sick days.
Ariana Davis, sponsor of I-1433, said that “this initiative is going to change the lives of every worker in Washington.”
“Passing 1433 is the right thing to do for our economy and for our jobs,” Davis, who is a grocery worker from Renton, said.
If the wage increase is approved, the changes will begin next year. As reported by Register Guard, the minimum wage would be elevated to $11 an hour by next year, $11.50 by 2018, $12 by 2019 and $13.50 by 2020. Sick leaves will also be provided to employees who currently who are don’t have any.
While Washington’s minimum wage at present is $9.47 an hour, it is adjusted each year for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index for the previous 12 months. The calculation, which is to be done annually, is a requirement by Initiative 688, which was approved in 1998 by voters in Washington.
However, not everyone is in support of the minimum wage hike.
“The money used to pay for higher payroll has to come from somewhere else, so there’s a tradeoff economically,” Paul Guppy, of the Washington Policy Center, said, as reported by KING 5. “It helps people who are employed, or who can keep their jobs and keep their hours —the people who are hurt are the ones who can’t get a job to begin with.”
Opposition to the I-1433 was expressed by the Association of Washington Business, Washington Restaurant Association and others, who said the hike could affect opportunities for unskilled workers.
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