Washington’s legislature is tackling minimum wage increases.
New Year, Same Fight: NFIB Continues to Oppose Minimum Wage Hikes in Washington
NFIB continued to fight Washington’s legislature on bills that would significantly increase labor costs of small businesses. In particular, NFIB testified against SB 6087, a bill to raise Washington’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and to increase paid leave to at least three days per year by 2018.
Sponsor Steve Hobbs believes the bill is a better alternative than the Raise Up Washington initiative, which would increase the minimum wage to $13.50 through a statewide vote on next fall’s ballot.
“We have to do something, otherwise an initiative will be forced on us,” he said to the legislature.
Some in the small business community stand divided on the issue.
Bruce Beckett, who is representing the Washington Restaurant and Lodging Association, said the bill is necessary to bring uniformity to the state.
“Today we have five minimum wages in the state, four different paid sick leave policies—all with conflicting and sometimes confusing regulatory and recording standards,” he told the legislature.
However, Jan Gee, a representative for Washington’s independent grocery stores, compared the bill to losing a limb.
“6087 is maiming off the arm of our grocers,” she declared.