October 23, 2016
The Herald (Everett)
As more studies are completed and more results are gathered over time, we might get a clearer picture on the costs and benefits of a higher minimum wage. For now that leaves us to judge the pros and cons of I-1433. …
As written, I-1433 recognizes no difference between an employee’s costs to live in Seattle and those of someone living in Granite Falls. Nor does the initiative recognize the differences in the strengths of those same local economies and their ability to support such an increase.
The initiative also unfortunately ties the sick leave provision to the minimum wage increase, forcing an all-or-nothing choice on voters.
A much easier case can be made for the initiative’s sick-leave provisions, which would not have been as onerous a demand on employers and would have helped ensure healthy workplaces. …
Given its own initiative, the sick leave provision might have had an easier path to becoming law.
Just as the case can be made for a mandatory sick leave policy, there are reasons to support an increase in the minimum wage; the current minimum wage doesn’t offer a living wage for single-parent families, leaving too many to rely on taxpayer-supported public assistance.
But I-1433 fails to recognize the differences in local economies and costs of living throughout the state. We cannot recommend that voters adopt it.