Mayor Signs Bill Raising D.C.'s Minimum Wage

Wednesday, Jan 15, 2014  |  Updated 10:56 AM EDT
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Mayor Signs Bill Raising D.C.'s Minimum Wage

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D.C.'s mayor has signed a bill to raise the city's minimum wage to $11.50 in 2016.

Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray signed the measure Wednesday morning. The D.C. Council approved the increase last month.

The District of Columbia's current minimum wage is $8.25. The bill will raise the minimum wage to $9.50 per hour on July 1, 2014, to $10.50 on July 1, 2015, and to $11.50 on July 1, 2016.

The council and the mayor clashed last year over raising wages for workers at Walmart and other major retailers. The Large Retailer Accountability Act -- known colloquially as the "Walmart Bill" -- would have required those stores to pay its employees a minimum of $12.50 an hour.

Gray vetoed that bill in September 2013, after Walmart threatened to pull out of three planned stores in the district.

The new minimum wage bill, which would apply to all businesses, large and small, had enough support to override any potential mayoral veto.

Supporters say raising the minimum wage will allow low-wage workers to benefit from the city's prosperity, while opponents worry it will hurt the job market and the district's regional competitiveness.

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Lawmakers in Montgomery and Prince George's counties have approved similar minimum wage increases. Both Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett signed their county's minimum wage bills into law last month. Under both plans, minimum wage in both localities would increase to $11.50 per hour by 2017.

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