Eyman has plan for Washington voters to overturn Seattle’s $15 minimum wage

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OLYMPIA — Initiative guru Tim Eyman filed an initiative yesterday that could bring Seattle’s $15 an hour minimum wage to a statewide ballot.

Eyman filed the “Fair and Uniform Minimum Wage” act Wednesday with the Secretary of State, just two days after the Seattle City Council approved a graduated $15 an hour minimum wage.

The legislative initiative strives to preserve a uniform minimum wage rate for all Washington employees in order to remain “fair and consistent” across the state. The initiative guarantees only the Washington State Legislature has the authority to raise a minimum wage, not an individual locality.

From the initiative would change law to read:

“The state of Washington has exclusive authority to establish the minimum wage standard for all employees in the state and occupies the entire field of regulation of minimum standards for wages for employment by private employers within the boundaries of the state. A city, town, county, port district, or other municipal corporation… may not establish… a minimum standard of wages for employment by private employers.”

In order for the initiative to go to the 2015 State Legislature, Eyman will need to collect more than 250,000 signatures from registered voters by the end of the year.

If the legislature fails to act on the initiative, it will go to a statewide vote in November, 2015.

Currently, the state’s minimum wage is $9.32 an hour.

State Senator John Braun (R-Centralia) introduced a bill similar to Eyman’s initiative in the 2014 state Legislature, but it was not acted on. Earlier this year, Oklahoma passed a bill banning localities from going above and beyond the state’s minimum wage.

A measure proposed by a group of Seattle businessman today would also nullify the wage.




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  • Honesty&RealityGuy

    The gest of what is going on will ruin Seattle. For instance, US companies have moved over seas to save money. Washington companies have moved because the tax system is too high (Boeing, Microsoft, Weyerhauser, Food Services of America, etc), and now, Seattle businesses will be forced to close or move. My guess is that within the next 5 to 10 years, there will be lots of vacant buildings in Seattle. If businesses cannot make money, they will have to close. That is sad, but absolutely true. Politicians can not legislate "minimum wage". It is obvious they have "no clue" as to the financial impact. For instance, a business of 50 employees will incur a minimum cost of about $865k to implement this law. Most small businesses (I am a retired CPA who represented many small businesses in that area) do not make more than $100k, some even less. Thus, those businesses will be forced to close or move (i.e., Bellevue, Burien, Renton, Kirkland, Federal Way, Everett, etc.) Franchises will close. The people of Seattle will be financially harmed. Higher unemployment, lower tax collections. It is a good "idea" but it will not work. Instead, I favor something that will limit corporations from paying its key executives more than 100 times the average wage of its employees. Some of these pay many thousands of times the "average". These are profitable companies that can afford this. Otherwise, mark my words — Seattle will be irreparably harmed by this law. And just like Boeing, Microsoft, Weyerhauser, Food Services of America, and others, they will not return. Once established somewhere else, they will stay there for their own financial reasons. This is so short sided and obviously acted on by politicians who do not understand (or turned a "blind eye") to businesses.

  • The life of America

    Honestly, this is really stupid. Yeah, $15 sounds really good for minimum wage, but think about the future. How will stores and restaurants hold up? The prices are going to go up and we will become like China – overpriced. The government is benefiting from this because many families are considered low incomes, and if the wages raise, they won't be eligible to be low income. Raising the mim. Wage is unmoral and sooner or later, the prices are going to raise as well.

    Why should the min. wage be $15 when they work at McDonalds – the worst working job ever -? I am considered in between middle class and low class and my mom's wage is only $15/hour. If the min wage raises, then my mom would consider to be in the "low wages" category. American always say that everyone deserves an equal chance and have an equal opportunity. How would that work if my mom's wage is the same as a worker that works in McDonald? My mom has an AA degree in Accounting. With this, my mom's wage $15/hour WITH an AA Degree is going to be the same as a worker WITHOUT an education.

    I vote no. This $15 min. wage should NOT be implemented. America right now can't afford this – we are already in economic crisis.

  • Dustin

    Just let Seattle impose the minimum wage – and watch businesses in Seattle self-destruct while the competition in the suburbs thrives. Seattle will be a good clear example of why raising the minimum wage is so stupid.

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