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D.C.'s lowest-wage workers are getting a pay raise today.
The city's minimum wage of $8.25 will rise to $9.50 today, part of a stepped increase towards $11.50 by 2016. The bill mandating the increase was passed by the D.C. Council in late 2013 and signed by Mayor Vincent Gray in January.
The minimum wage will rise to $10.50 next year and $11.50 the year after, and be indexed to inflation starting in 2017.
With the pay raise, an estimated 40,000 minimum wage workers in D.C. can expect an additional $2,000 in income over the next year. That may only be of passing relief, though — various studies have found that families in the city would need to make between $26 and $34 an hour to attain a modest and stable living.
Two groups are attempting to place initiatives on the November ballot that would increase the minimum wage further — to $12.50 — and also include tipped workers, but neither will likely be able to gather the necessary 22,608 signatures by next week.
The minimum wage bill also extends a paid sick leave law to tipped restaurant workers, who can now accrue paid sick days.