Anti-tax activist Tim Eyman filed an initiative Wednesday that would make the state the sole authority for setting the minimum wage and remove Seattle’s ability to strike out on its own. The measure, which could be voted on by the entire state or enacted by the 2015 legislature, makes the state’s power retroactive to any ordinance setting a local minimum wage regardless of when it was enacted.
There’s also local pushback. This morning, a group of independent Seattle businesses filed a city charter amendment to dial back the $15 minimum wage passed by the City Council Monday. The group, Forward Seattle, proposes a five-year phase-in to $12.50 an hour, with no exemptions or delays for some sizes of business.
Kathrina Tugadi, owner of a restaurant and a club in north Seattle, said the group is concerned that small business won’t be able to survive the jump to $15 an hour. She also is concerned about the uneven phase-in, with some large businesses required to pay $15 in three years, while small businesses have seven years.