Washington state has been a national leader with our landmark minimum wage law, passed in 1998 by two-thirds of Washington voters. That law increased Washington’s minimum wage, and tied all future increases to inflation – making increases automatic and predictable. Since then, nine states and several cities have followed suit – and last night’s election results suggest more cities are joining the minimum wage movement.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
By a nearly 2-1 ratio, voters in the city of Albuquerque voted to increase the city’s minimum wage from $7.50 to $8.50, and tie future automatic increases in the minimum wage to inflation. The new wage will go into effect on January 1st, 2013.
San Jose, California – Measure D
In San Jose, 59% of voters approved a measure to increase the city minimum wage to $10 per hour – $2 more than California’s state minimum wage. The city of San Francisco will have the country’s best minimum wage beginning January 2013 at $10.55/hour.
Long Beach, California – Measure N
With all the ballots in, 63% of voters approved Measure N, which requires nonunionized hotels with more than 100 rooms to pay workers at least $13 per hour. The measure also ensures full-time workers can earn five paid sick days per year, and automatic 2 percent annual raises to employees.