Washington State’s House of Representatives has voted to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 per hour. The House representatives voted 51-46 this afternoon to raise its minimum wage, even though the state has the nation’s highest minimum hourly wage at $9.47 per hour.
The bill, House bill 1355, will raise the state’s minimum wage over a four-year period in an order of 50-cent increases. The bill goes to the state Senate next week for final consideration.
Governor Jay Inslee was present at the Washington House for the oral debate. House Democrats stated they supported the minimum wage legislation to assist low-income workers to support their families. However, Republicans contended the minimum wage bill would cut private sector profits and lead to jobs being cut by businesses.
Under Washington’s current legislation, the state’s minimum wage increases every January in accordance with monetary inflation. The Employment Security Department stated the minimum wage increase for 2015 has affected over 67,000 workers.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by MathTeacherGuy – Flickr License