Richmond votes to raise minimum wage to $12.30 by 2017

The Richmond City Council voted Tuesday in favor of an ordinance that would raise minimum hourly pay in the city to $12.30 an hour.
March 19, 2014 12:15:51 PM PDT
The city of Richmond is one step closer to having the highest minimum wage in the state.

The Richmond City Council voted 6-1 on Tuesday in favor of an ordinance that would raise minimum hourly pay in the city to $12.30 an hour by 2017.

The vote came after Mayor Gayle McLaughlin rescinded an earlier idea to put it on the November ballot. If it passes another reading next month, the minimum wage would go to $9 an hour and go up from there.

Three options were presented to council members Tuesday night. The options were to raise the minimum wage to $11 an hour, $12.30 an hour or $15 an hour.

ABC7 News spoke with the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and he says they're not opposed to the hike and agrees the minimum wage needs to be higher, but they're taking a cautious stance at this point. He said if it goes too high it would be bad for businesses. He used one person owning multiple hamburger stands as an example.

"If I have one in Richmond, one in El Cerrito and one in San Pablo, but you raise the Richmond one to $15, this guy is going to go out of business. He's going to have to close the Richmond store and we don't want to keep making a domino effect and then everybody start moving out of Richmond," Chamber of Commerce Chairman Michael Davenport said.

Davenport also said he wants the city council to revisit the issue every year. The city's plan based on the ordinance that got a first reading Tuesday night is to phase in the hike. Currently the minimum wage in the state and in Richmond is $8 an hour and would inch up to $12.30 an hour by 2017.

A second reading on this ordinance is scheduled for next month.

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