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

As Summer Winds Down, Wistful Dreams Of A 'Lost Estate'

The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
NPR

A Food Crisis Follows Africa's Ebola Crisis

Food shortages are emerging in the wake of West Africa's Ebola epidemic. Market shelves are bare and fields are neglected because traders can't move and social gatherings are discouraged.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Corruption Trial: Former Gov Defends Relationship With Jonnie Williams

On the stand today, the former Virginia governor defended his relationship with the businessman at the heart of the trial, saying it was appropriate.
NPR

Coming Soon To A Pole Near You: A Bike That Locks Itself

Cyclists may soon have a convenient way to discourage bike thieves, thanks to new designs that use parts of the bikes themselves as locks.

Leave a Comment

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