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

Paid Sick Leave, $13.50 Minimum Wage Expects To Qualify For Washington Ballot

Colin Fogarty
Northwest News Network files

Washington voters will likely decide in November whether to raise the state minimum wage and require employers to provide paid sick leave. Backers of the Raise Up Washington campaign say they will submit more than 360,000 signatures Wednesday -- virtually guaranteeing it a spot on the fall ballot.

Initiative 1433 would raise Washington’s minimum wage from the current $9.47 per hour to $13.50 by 2020. It would also require employers to provide workers up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave a year beginning in 2018.

Campaign manager Carlo Caldirola-Davis said the initiative is the result of inaction by Washington lawmakers.

“People are ready for this and that’s why we’re making a push to do it in 2016,” he said.

I-1433 has the financial backing of labor unions and billionaire minimum wage activist Nick Hanauer.

Supporters of a gun-related initiative also said they have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Initiative 1491 would allow judges to take away the guns of people deemed to pose a risk to themselves or others.

Friday is the deadline for Washington initiative sponsors to submit signatures. Three other initiative campaigns have also made appointments to drop off petitions.

They are:

  • Initiative 1464: requires new campaign finance disclosures, limits contributions by lobbyists and government contractors and imposes a three-year waiting period on lobbying by former public officials and senior staff.
  • Initiative 1501: prohibits release of information about in-home caregivers and their clients and increases penalties for identity theft involving vulnerable adults.
  • Initiative 1515: repeals a rule requiring transgender people access to the restroom or locker room of their choice.
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."