Minimum Wage Fight May Heat Up In Olympia

Jan 21, 2014

The battle over Washington’s minimum wage could soon heat up at the Capitol. House Democrats may roll out a proposal as early as this week to increase the state’s base wage. It’s currently the highest in the nation at $9.32 an hour. But our Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins says don’t expect the measure to pass this year.

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“To me this seems like an election year issue for Democrats because remember, we’ve got Democrats in control of the House, a Democratic governor, but a mostly Republican majority in the state senate. So, I think that what you’re seeing is labor and Democrats teeing up an issue that is ripe for the election season perhaps and also something that if they have the long game in view, they may be working down here for the next few years," says Jenkins.

Meanwhile, Austin says we may see a counter proposal from Republicans and the business community. Their idea is to limit local governments from imposing a higher minimum wage than the state. Last fall, voters in Sea-Tac narrowly approved a $15 an hour base wage. And there’s talk of something similar in the city of Seattle.

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