San Diego Business Journal

Committee Sends Ballot Measure for Minimum Wage Increase to City Council

By Mike Allen Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A San Diego City Council committee approved a ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage above the current statewide minimum for businesses operating here.

In a 2-1 vote, the committee approved an increase in the minimum hourly rate, but didn’t state what that raise would be, leaving that to further study by the city’s budget analyst. The proposal goes to the City Attorney’s Office to write a draft measure that would need City Council approval before it is placed on the Nov. 4 ballot. A majority vote is needed to adopt the proposed law.

Councilman Todd Gloria, using some of the positive leverage he gained during his seven-month stint as interim mayor, pushed for the wage hike, saying that nearly 40 percent of all households in San Diego County “cannot afford to meet basic needs without public or private assistance.”

“No one who works hard at a full-time job should be unable to pay for their shelter or food,” he said.

The proposed law also includes the requirement that every business provide a minimum of five paid sick days annually to long-term workers.

The current minimum wage in California is $8 an hour, but it rises to $9 on July 1, and again to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and was last raised in 2009. The highest hourly wage among the 50 states is Washington at $9.32. San Francisco pays the highest minimum wage of any city in the nation at $10.74 hourly.