Early this morning, local business coalition Forward Seattle, which has been promising for a long time that they'd file their own simpler, more business-friendly minimum-wage ballot measure, officially announced their intention to do so.
The basic outline of their plan, which they call in a statement a "straight-forward, no exceptions approach," starts at $10.10 in 2015, then rises 40 cents a year until it hits $12.50 in 2020. They've filed their campaign with the City of Seattle, though we haven't seen their ballot language yet. Just like 15 Now, they say their measure will be an amendment to the city charter, a measure that's trickier to undo than a simple initiative. Forward Seattle says the businesses they represent have "actively participated, but have been underrepresented in the minimum wage debate."
David Rolf, co-chair of the mayor's minimum-wage committee and president of SEIU 775NW, quickly released a blistering statement of his own, calling the group "a fringe group of right-wing ideologues in the business community" whose measure is "selfish, short-sighted, and stupid" and "would weaken the gains for our community" brought about by the recent compromise minimum-wage legislation.
That's not the only challenge Seattle's just days-old $15 minimum wage law is facing. PubliCola reports this morning that Tim Eyman filed an initiative yesterday to give the state sole power to institute minimum wage, superseding any local measures; the goal appears to be to get it on the 2015 ballot.
That's not all: I wrote in the paper this week about two other challenges Seattle's landmark wage law will face: a potential lawsuit from a franchise association and very tricky enforcement of its complicated provisions.
The fight's not over yet, everyone.