Year of the Twelve: Move To Raise State Minimum Wage to $12

What is it this year about the No. 12?

We just finished the Twelve Days of Christmas, Twelve Years a Slave is a front-runner for Best Picture, and, as everyone in the Western Hemisphere knows, the 12th Man is almost single handily the reason the Seahaws are Super Bowl bound.

And now the icing on the cake: Democratic Rep. Jessyn Farrell of Seattle put a bill in the hopper today to increase what is already the highest state minimum wage in the nation – to $12 an hour over the next three years. Under state House Bill 2672, the rate would first increase -- for those 18 and older -- from the current $9.32 an hour to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, 2015. Then it would go up again to $11 a year later, and finally hit the magical Twelve on Jan. 1, 2017.

More than 30 House Democrats have signed on to the bill. “We know our economy is stronger when an honest day’s work is rewarded with a fair wage,” Rep. Farrell said. “During the recovery, top earners have done quite well, the stock market has seen record highs, and corporate profits have never been better. This bill rewards work, moves the economy forward, and promotes fundamental economic fairness.”

Minimum wage fever is sweeping the land. For Democrats (and at least on Seattle socialist) it’s like catnip. Take a bow, SeTac. Still, it is best not to count ones dozen chickens until they’re counted, for the state Senate, controlled by a predominantly-Republican majority, has Nervous Nellie reservations that any increase with have a deleterious effect on businesses. In Seattle, officials have conjured the notion of hiking the minimum wage here to as much as $15 an hour. Earlier this month, newly-elected Mayor Ed Murray directed his department leaders to come up with a strategy for paying city employees more and last week, Gov. Jay Inslee in his State of the State address called for the state minimum wage to increase by between $1.50 and $2.50 an hour. Indeed, the Year of the Twelve is upon us.

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