The bill that passed the Washington state house yesterday still has to work through the state senate and the governor's office, but I see a hopeful pattern here. If, businesses don't flee Washington. If, instead, the economy of Washington flourishes against all the dire predictions of business leaders, then they other house in the other Washington, will have nothing but toady adherence to their corporate masters to fall back on.
The state House voted 51-46 Tuesday to raise Washington’s minimum wage to $12 an hour over a four-year period. The bill now goes to the Senate. Washington has the highest minimum wage in the nation at $9.47. The House-passed bill would raise the minimum wage over a four-year period in a series of 50-cent hikes. Democrats are sponsoring the legislation to help low-income workers. Business owners say it would cut profits and lead to higher prices. Under Washington’s current law, the minimum wage goes up every January with inflation. The Employment Security Department said this year’s minimum wage hike affected more than 67,000 workers. Later Tuesday, the state House passed a bill requiring many of the state’s employers to offer employees paid sick leave. The bill passed the Democratic-controlled chamber in a 51-46 party-line vote Tuesday after a short debate. It would require all businesses in the state with more than four full-time employees to give workers at least five days a year of sick and safe leave.
I still think that minimum wage hikes are, in the long run, ineffective and a bad idea for pushing for societal justice, but until we find a better solution, they are all we have. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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