Summer of Love Continues as Consensus Minimum Wage Bill Passes Unanimously

Perhaps it is due to the fact that the sun finally came out, or that the election and summer recess are right around the corner, but a spirit of consensus on major policy issues seems to be blooming among the tenants of the Wilson Building.

Last week, after the Council took Mayor Bowser’s budget and homeless shelter proposals, ran them through the oversight mill, and improved upon them, both monumental measures were passed by unanimous votes, and with the Mayor’s support.

Then, this week, parallel but competing increased minimum wage efforts offered by the Mayor, the Council, and advocates were merged into a single consensus proposal. At a press conference prior to the Legislative Meeting, the details of the proposal were outlined: the minimum wage would increase to $15, the tipped wage would increase to $5, both would gradually attain those targets by 2020, and both would be tagged to the Consumer Price Index from 2021 on. In conjunction with this legislative effort, advocates agreed to halt the pending minimum wage initiative.

At the Legislative Meeting, legislation encapsulating this compromise was moved, modified via a few amendments, then approved unanimously by the Council in the first of two needed votes. A second vote on the measure is expected prior to the Council’s July recess.

Other Legislation Passed, and Introductions

Also among the legislation passed on first vote at this meeting were:

  • A bill to increase fiscal transparency at charter schools
  • An omnibus bicycle and pedestrian safety measure
  • A measure to strengthen the District’s renewable portfolio standard and further incentivize the use of alternative energy sources

Among measures introduced at this meeting were those to:

  • Create a ten-year comprehensive educational facilities plan
  • Increase the reach of the District’s youth criminal record sealing procedures
  • Support the goals of the national Bee City USA project
  • Create a Quiet Green Zone pilot program, aimed at reducing noise pollution in parks
  • Treat E-cigarettes just like actual cigarettes in District prohibition legislation
  • Ban the refueling of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) at District gas stations
  • Create license plates to honor women veterans
  • Study possible high-tech improvements to the District’s Circulator busses
  • Create a task force to investigate broader celebration of Juneteenth

For a full listing of all votes taken at the meeting, click here.