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October Networking Lunch Recap: 1-1433 (Raising WA Minimum Wage)
Andrew Biviano, candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, presented the pro side and Stephanie Cates, Vice Chair of Spokane GOP presented to opposition side of I-1433
I-1433 panelists Andrew Biviano, candidate for Spokane County Commissioner, presented the pro side and Stephanie Cates, Vice Chair of Spokane GOP presented to opposing side during INBA’s October Networking lunch.

Overview

Minimum wage in Washington

Washington’s minimum wage is $9.47 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. Due to Initiative 668 of 1998, the state’s minimum wage increases with the cost-of-living. Washington has the eighth highest minimum wage of all U.S. states and D.C. In 2014, Seattle became the first major city to approve a $15 minimum wage. Without Initiative 1433, Washington’s minimum wage is expected to increase to $10.28 in 2020

Changes to state law

Initiative 1433 would increase the state’s minimum wage to $13.50 by January 1, 2020. Thereafter, the minimum wage would be tacked to increases in the cost-of-living. The measure would also require employers to provide employees with paid sick leave. Employees would be able to accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked.

State of ballot measure campaigns

The Yes on 1433 campaign, known as Raise Up Washington has outraised opponents 72 to 1. As of October 8, 2016, supporters had raised $3.9 million in contributions, while No on 1433 had raised $54 thousand. Venture capitalist Nicolas Hanauer had contributed $1 million to Raise Up Washington. Washington State Democrats endorsed Initiative 1433, and the Washington State Republican Party came out in opposition to it. Both Hillary Clinton (D) and Bernie Sanders (I) support the initiative. Polls indicate that support for the measure is around 59 percent.


Support

RaiseUpWashington2016.png

Raise Up Washington, also known as Yes on I-1433, is leading the campaign in support of Initiative 1433.[12]

Supporters make the following arguments in support of Initiative 1433:[2]

  • The initiative would increase the income of more than 730,000 workers.
  • The initiative would put $2.5 billion into local economies.
  • The initiative would decrease the spread of disease in the workplace.
  • The initiative would allow parents to take care of sick children without worrying about lost income.

Opposition

Wa2016NoOnI1433.png

No on I-1433 is leading the campaign in opposition to Initiative 1433.[20]

Opponents make the following arguments in opposition to Initiative 1433:[2]

  • The initiative does not take into account different costs of living across the state.
  • The initiative would make it harder for young people to find jobs.
  • The initiative would be unaffordable for small businesses.
  • The initiative would increase costs for consumers.

 


Initiative design

Minimum wage

Initiative 1433 would increase the minimum wage from $9.47 in 2016 to 11.00 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020. Beginning in 2021, the minimum wage would be adjusted with inflation.[1]

Assuming an inflation rate of 2.7 percent in 2021 and 2.6 percent in 2022, the Washington Office of Financial Management estimates the minimum wage, under current law, to be $10.56 in 2021 and $10.83 in 2022. Under Initiative 1433, the office estimates the minimum wage to be $13.86 in 2021 and $14.23 in 2022.[2]

The following table is adapted and modified from the state’s voter guide:[2]

Date Hourly Rate Under Current Law Hourly Rate Under I-1433 Difference
January 1, 2017 $9.55 $11.00 $1.45
January 1, 2018 $9.77 $11.50 $1.73
January 1, 2019 $10.02 $12.00 $1.98
January 1, 2020 $10.28 $13.50 $3.22
January 1, 2021 $10.56 $13.86 $3.30
January 1, 2022 $10.83 $14.23 $3.40

Beginning in 2018, employers would be required to provide employees with paid sick leave. At minimum, employees would accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every forty hours worked. Employees would be permitted to earn at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. An employee would be eligible to start using paid sick leave after 90 days with an employer. Unused sick leave would roll over to the following year. Employers would be authorized to require verification that an employee’s leave is for authorized purposes if the employee uses leave for more than three consecutive days.[1]

Employees would be allowed to use paid sick leave to:[1]

 

accommodate the employee’s physical or mental health condition, need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment, or need for preventative health care.

provide care for a family member’s physical or mental health condition, need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment, or need for preventative health care.

receive compensation when the employee’s place of business closes for a health-related reason or when an employee’s child’s school closes for a health-related reason.

address legal needs, seek treatment, or obtain services related to domestic violence.

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The ballot title is as follows:[2]

Initiative Measure No. 1433 concerns labor standards.This measure would increase the state minimum wage to $11.00 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020, require employers to provide paid sick leave, and adopt related laws.

Should this measure be enacted into law? Yes [ ] No [ ][3]

Ballot summary

The ballot summary is as follows:[4]

This measure would increase the state hourly minimum wage for employees who are at least 18 to $11.00 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12.00 in 2019, and $13.50 in 2020. The measure would require employers to provide paid sick leave starting in 2018 that employees could use in certain circumstances, including to care for family members (as defined); make the Minimum Wage Act and this measure apply to individual care providers; and adopt related laws.[3]

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