And then the challenges came.
In the progressive glow of this week’s historic passage of a $15-an-hour minimum-wage bill in Seattle, it was only natural that challengers would quickly emerge to take the legislation down. Just two short days after Mayor Ed Murray signed the bill, that’s exactly what’s happening.
As has been noted, there are at least three immediate challenges to the landmark wage legislation, which - if it survives - will give Seattle the highest minimum wage in the nation. A group of local business owners, under the name Forward Seattle, is pushing an amendment to the city charter that would institute what the group calls “a straight-forward increase in the minimum-wage” - taking Seattle’s minimum hourly pay to $12.50 by 2020 (or, you know, when we have flying cars). Dismissed by SEIU 775 President David Rolf as “a fringe group of right-wing ideologues in the business community,” Forward Seattle’s website argues that “Any increase to the minimum wage should be adopted across all businesses at the same rate of pay and over the same time period to allow for operations of all sizes to adjust to a mandated increase in labor costs,” and warns that “As owners, patrons, neighbors, friends and residents of Seattle we must provide another option” to more drastic wage-hike plans. PubliCola notes that the earliest a charter initiative could appear on the ballot is 2015.
Meanwhile, the International Franchise Association has also let its objections to Seattle’s new minimum-wage bill be known. Promising legal action, the association contends that the bill is “unfair, discriminatory and a deliberate attempt to achieve a political agenda at the expense of small franchise business owners.”
“By picking winners and losers among Seattle businesses,” a statement from International Franchise Association President & CEO Steve Caldeira contends, “this policy flies in the face of all legal precedent and defies common sense.”
The IFA says its lawsuit will seek to overturn Seattle’s new minimum-wage bill and “fight to preserve the tenets of the franchise model, which has helped hundreds of thousands of people enjoy business ownership and created economic opportunity for many.”
Then there’s Tim Eyman.
Long one of the most hated men in the dense, liberal strongholds that make Seattle tick, Eyman has prepared what he’s apparently calling the “Fair and Uniform Minimum Wage Act.” As PubliCola noted this morning, Eyman’s effort would “grant sole wage-setting authority to the state.”
Why does Eyman want to mess with Seattle’s socialist fantasy realized?
We’ve got calls out to the former Mukilteo watch salesmen to find out, but our guess is it has something to do with the fact he’s Tim Eyman - and this is what he does.
As Q13 notes, “State Senator John Braun (R-Centralia) introduced a bill similar to Eyman’s initiative in the 2014 state Legislature, but it was not acted on.”