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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Inslee Laments Demise Of $12 Minimum Wage Bill, Hints At Ballot Measure

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network files
File photo

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Wednesday hinted at a minimum wage ballot measure in 2016. The Democrat said that Washington voters will decide the issue.

This after Senate Republicans killed a $12 per hour minimum wage hike that passed the Washington House. Inslee said he’s disappointed that proposal won’t advance.

“It’s disappointing because we got a lot of really hard-working people who are cleaning up our hospitals and taking care of us when we get old and running our operations in our businesses who can’t provide the basic food and rent for their families,” the governor said.

Inslee called Senate Republicans AWOL on the issue of minimum wage.

Republican Michael Baumgartner of Spokane announced late Tuesday that his Commerce committee won’t pass the $12 per hour minimum wage measure. In a statement Baumgartner said: “I won’t put people in Eastern Washington out of work to placate the egos of extreme Seattle liberals.”

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."