EDITORIAL | Tri-City Herald: Our Voice: Initiative 1433 oversimplifies minimum wage challenges

EDITORIAL
October 9, 2016
The Tri-City Herald
Editorial Board

Voters will be asked to decide the future of our state’s minimum wage on the November ballot. …

We certainly want folks to earn a wage they can live on. But our state has one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation and already has a mechanism for increases based on the cost of living. …

The proposed initiative tries to blanket our state with a one-size-fits-all approach that just doesn’t work in Washington. It clearly does not cost the same to live in Seattle as it does in Benton City or Mesa. Cities have the ability to approve a minimum wage above the state standard, just as SeaTac and Seattle have done, to more closely align pay with actual costs to live in those places.

Those railing for the initiative seem to forget that those who would earn the higher wage are not the only ones affected.

Somebody has to pay it. Business owners would likely be forced to make difficult choices should the initiative pass as the expense would fall to them. …

Difficult choices would have to be made. Business closures, reduction of their work force or a reduction in employee hours would all be possibilities, as would raising the prices of goods and services.

It doesn’t do a person much good to make more per hour but have fewer hours. Or to have employers close up shop. …

We encourage you to vote No on Initiative 1433.