On Minimum Wage In D.C., It's Not If To Raise It—But Rather By How Much | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

On Minimum Wage In D.C., It's Not If To Raise It—But Rather By How Much

Play associated audio
The D.C. Council is once again weighing legislation to increase the minimum wage in the District.
Patrick Madden
The D.C. Council is once again weighing legislation to increase the minimum wage in the District.

It doesn’t appear to be question of “if” D.C. raises its minimum wage — as Council members repeatedly stated during a hearing on Monday, “That train has left the station." Rather, the debate seems to revolve around how much, how soon, and whether the raise applies to tipped workers such as bartenders and servers in restaurants.

After failing to pass a "living wage" bill targeting big box retailers like Walmart in September, legislators used the daylong hearing to debate four competing bills that would increase the city's minimum wage from $8.25 to between $10.55 and $12.50, the highest in the nation.

Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large), who chairs the committee overseeing the process, says he plans to craft together a bill that will have at least nine votes making it, unlike the Walmart Bill, veto proof.

He's already got the support of Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who said that its impossible to get by in Washington under the current minimum wage. “You cannot live in D.C. with the current minimum wage, nor at $10 dollars an hour," he said.

There appears to be little opposition to raising the wage floor, and even D.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO Barbara Lang conceded support for what she calls a “reasonable” increase. But Lang says she wants time for the business community to conduct a study to find out what that “reasonable” level might be.

The biggest disagreement to emerge during the day long hearing is whether tipped workers should receive an increase from the base level of $2.77 an hour.

Representatives from the restaurant industry pushed back over a proposal to increase the wages of tipped workers, arguing it would hurt business owners, customers, and ultimately the workers themselves. They say the law requires restaurants to compensate tipped workers who don’t make the equivalent of a minimum wage — but it's unclear how well that law has been enforced.

NPR

In Britain, A Christmas Tradition Of Slapstick And Silliness

For centuries, British families have celebrated the Christmas season by attending "pantomimes," silly musical comedies of stories such as Aladdin and Cinderella. The tradition is alive and well today.
NPR

After The Presents, A Buttery Tea Cake Tradition

For one family in Overland Park, Kan., it's not Christmas without Mrs. Lawrence. The tea cake, rich with butter and spices, is named for the neighbor who would hand deliver it every holiday season.
NPR

What To Expect In The 2016 Presidential Announcement Season

With Jeb Bush signaling he's likely to run for president in 2016, it's another sign that the presidential announcement season is underway. Here's a look at who has jumped in the race early and what to expect in the coming months.
NPR

Online Sellers Pop Up In Real Life, For A Limited Time Only

One-click shopping is changing the ways people shop and retailers sell their wares. But some online retailers are opening physical stores — some of which last as short as a day.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.