D.C. living wage bill heads to mayor’s desk

Will Gray sign the bill?

Andrew Mollenbeck | November 14, 2014 8:43 pm

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WASHINGTON – Job seekers, retailers and shoppers are waiting on the stroke of a pen.

Seven weeks after its passage, the so-called living wage bill is finally headed to D.C. Mayor Vince Gray.

That bill requires Walmart stores and other retailers to pay workers at least $12.50 an hour or a combination of benefits and wages equaling that amount.

Once he receives the bill, Gray has 10 business days to sign or veto it. He has not tipped his hand regarding a decision.

Signing it is “the right thing to do, and that is to ensure we have not just jobs, but we have decent jobs. That’s fundamentally the issue here,” Councilmember Phil Mendelson says.

“Do we attract jobs that are low paying, poverty-level wages, or do we make as our goal for economic development attracting high quality jobs?”.

But many people frame the decision differently, and they’ve been the more vocal of the two sides.

Since the council approved the law in July, Gray’s office has received thousands of letters, emails and petitions asking for a veto, a spokesman says.

Additionally, Walmart has threatened not to open some planned locations if the wage requirement becomes law.

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