Details of ballot aimed at raising San Diego minimum wage out Wednesday

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Details on a proposed ballot measure aimed at raising the minimum wage in San Diego are scheduled to be released Wednesday by its proponents.

City Council President Todd Gloria, the primary supporter of the plan, has scheduled a noon news conference at City Hall. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Peter Brownell, the research director of the Center on Policy Initiatives, are also scheduled to participate.

Gloria wants to place before voters in November an initiative that would provide a “meaningful” increase in the minimum wage for all people working in San Diego; tie the pay rate to a cost-of-living index that would be updated annually; allow a phase-in period that gives more time for small businesses and nonprofits to raise pay; and give five days of earned sick leave for all employees, regardless of industry or business type.

The minimum wage in California is $8 per hour. The state plans an increase to $9 an hour in July and $10 an hour in two years.

The Center on Policy Initiatives, which supports a wage increase, estimates that a single person living on a stripped-down budget needs to make a $13.09 hourly wage to live in San Diego. Around 300,000 households in the region have incomes too low to meet basic expenses, according to the CPI.

Some interest groups have called for an even higher minimum wage. While Gloria has not specified an amount — something expected to change at Wednesday’s news conference — he has cautioned supporters that a ballot measure needs to be crafted so that it will be passed by voters.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilman Mark Kersey have called for an independent study on the potential impact of a minimum wage increase. Business groups say they want to see the proposed amount before they take a stand on the issue.

Categories: KUSI