Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

$12 Minimum Wage Vote Likely In Washington House

Wikimedia -
File photo of the Washington House chamber. Raising the minimum wage to $12 per hour could soon get a vote.

The Washington House is expected to vote this week on a $12 per hour minimum wage.

Speaker of the House Frank Chopp telegraphed that upcoming vote in a recent meeting with Capitol reporters.

Just a year ago, Speaker Chopp, a Democrat, said that while he supports a higher minimum wage, the issue wasn’t ready for a vote on the House floor. At the time he it was important to ‘start the conversation’ and ‘figure out where there’s consensus.’

Fast-forward one year and it appears Chopp feels the issue is now ready for a vote. The proposal in the House would move Washington’s minimum wage from the current $9.47 per hour to $12 per hour by 2019.

But even if the House approves this measure, it may quickly die in the Republican-led Washington Senate. Proposals in the Senate to raise the minimum wage didn’t even get a hearing. And many Republicans have said a higher minimum wage would be a jobs killer.”

Republicans have offered counter proposals to a minimum wage hike, including one to create a teen training wage.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."