AP

AP

Don’t be shocked if Seattle Washington sees a spike in people moving to the city.

Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote today on a historic plan to raise the minimum wage to a nation’s-highest $15 per hour.

Washington already has the highest state minimum wage at $9.32 per hour, well above the federal minimum of $7.25. The Seattle plan would phase in the higher, local minimum wave over three to seven years, depending on the size of the business and benefits they provide employees.

City officials estimate that about a quarter of workers earn less than $15 per hour. Full-time work at that rate translates to about $31,000 per year.

Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer, a key backer of the effort, says the city is a prosperous but costly place to live.

“Fifteen dollars is a very conservative number that we know for certain the economy can support,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “Fifteen is a good solid number for a place like this, but probably is too much for a small town in Arkansas where living costs are much, much, much lower.”

The ordinance was drafted by an advisory group of labor, business and nonprofit professionals. In a contentious meeting last week, a City Council committee agreed to delay implementation of the ordinance from Jan. 1 to April 1. They rejected amendments that would have sped up phase-ins as well and would have excluded tips from total compensation. The council also approved a sub-minimum wage for teenagers.

The plan was approved unanimously by the City Council members at the meeting, indicating that passage into law is likely.

Source: USA Today