Workers and advocates will file an initiative for the 2016 ballot in Olympia on Monday morning, and it's likely that initiative will seek to raise the minimum wage and offer workers across the state paid sick time. What's unclear is just how high the initiative will go. Could it be $16 in '16?
It's been an open secret for a while now that labor advocates plan to run a minimum wage/sick time initiative this year and that Democrats in the state legislature will also try to push a wage increase through.
The legislative session starts on Monday. As John Stang reported this week, house Democrats were blocked by senate Republicans last year when they tried for a phased-in increase to $12 an hour. They're expected to try again this year. The threat of a ballot initiative that would go even higher than $12 would increase pressure on lawmakers to do something in Olympia or else.
Among the people who've expressed support for such a ballot measure is rich guy Nick Hanaeur. Hanaeur is reportedly working with political consultant Christian Sinderman and it's Sinderman's firm that sent out the press release today announcing Monday's initiative filing. That announcement provided no details about what the initiative will say other than that it will be announced by "advocates for working families and wage equity."
Neither Sinderman nor his colleague Erin Schultz was immediately available for comment.