In this year’s general election, the outcome of Initiative 1 regarding the status of the minimum wage in Tacoma has the power to drastically impact businesses starting as soon as December 4th of this year.
If a raise in the minimum wage in Initiative 1 are approved by the voters, an unprecedented and risky minimum wage increase of either $15 or $12 will go into effect just four weeks following the election.
After careful consideration, the Chamber has endorsed voting for Initiative 1B, a plan that will phase in a minimum wage increase to $12 over the course of two years. This plan allows everyone to adjust to an increase in the minimum wage in a way that will both benefit workers and will not overwhelm businesses.
While raising the minimum wage or not should be a straightforward question, the structure of this year’s ballot has the potential to confuse voters. Initiative 1 is broken into two parts. First, voters will be asked whether or not a minimum wage increase should take place at all. Second, voters will be asked, if a minimum wage increase were to take place, whether they would support Initiative 1, an increase of the minimum wage to $15 immediately, or Initiative 1B, an increase of the minimum wage to $12 over two years.
Even if voters wanted to oppose an increase in the minimum wage altogether and vote no on the first question and ignore the second question, a minimum wage increase will still take place if a majority vote “yes” on part one. That is why it is imperative, even if voters oppose an increase in the minimum wage, they also vote “yes” on 1B to ensure that the most appropriate increase in minimum wage for Tacoma is enacted.