A citizen coalition has filed an initiative proposal to boost the state minimum wage to $13.50 over four years, and expand paid sick leave.
A throng of supporters filed their “Raise Up Washington” initiative at the Office of Secretary of State on Monday, just two hours before the Legislature convened. Backers will need 246,372 valid signatures of registered Washington voters by July 8 in order to qualify for the fall statewide ballot. The state Elections Division suggests bringing in at least 325,000 signatures, to cover duplicate and invalid signatures.
The proposal would increase the current minimum wage of $9.47 an hour to $11 in 2017, $11.50 in 2018, $12 in 2019 and $13.50 in 2020. It also would allow workers to accrue up to seven days of paid “sick and safe” leave per year for those who currently do not get sick leave.
Last Friday was the first day for filing of citizen initiatives. Initiative activist Tim Eyman and others submitted 24 proposals.
On Monday, the Elections Division also began signature-verification check for Initiative to the Legislature 732, dealing with carbon taxes. The measure’s sponsors brought in 363,126 signatures, far more than enough to qualify for random sampling of about 11,000 signatures this week. After that, petitions for I-735 will be checked. That measure would support a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.