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.