Voters to decide on state minimum wage hike

KING 5's Jake Whittenberg reports.

SEATTLE -- Voters in Washington will decide next Tuesday whether the state minimum wage should increase incrementally to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

Right now the state minimum is one of the highest in the nation at $9.47 an hour. A passage of Initiative-1433 would raise that for with employees 18 or older.

-- $11.50 in 2018

-- $12.00 in 2019

-- $13.50 in 2020

I-1433 would also require paid sick leave for employees.

Supporters say the minimum wage is not a living wage.

"When low-wage workers earn more, they spend more, businesses make more and hire more," said Jack Sorensen, spokesman for Raise Up Washington, a pro I-1433 group.

But it's a thorny issue among business owners and many employees who worry that a state minimum wage increase would force prices to increase.

The Washington Restaurant Association is one organization standing firm against the initiative saying I-1433 doesn't give business owners enough time to rework their budgets.

In Seattle and SeaTac where local laws are already in place to raise the minimum wage, I-1433 will not change anything. Seattle voters approved at least $15 an hour minimum wage to all workers by 2021.

Copyright 2016 KING


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