DC Minimum Wage, Washington’s city council on Tuesday approved raising the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, one of the highest rates among US cities and part of the wealthy region’s push to hike base pay.
The minimum wage in the US capital would rise in 2016 from the current $8.25, and then be indexed for inflation. The council gave unanimous final approval to the measure, which it first passed two weeks ago.
Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray has opposed the measure, saying it is unclear how it would affect the labor market, and urged an increase to $10 an hour instead. The unanimous vote means the council could pass it over Gray’s veto.
The council coordinated raising the base wage with lawmakers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, in Washington’s Maryland suburbs. They approved similar measures last month.
Once the higher pay takes effect, the three jurisdictions would form a region with 2.5 million residents and a minimum wage higher than any of the 50 states. Virginia, which borders Washington, requires employers to pay the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.
Some business groups said the measure was ill-advised.
Jim Dinegar, the president and chief executive of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, told Reuters the higher wages would make the capital and the region less attractive to business, especially since Virginia’s rate remained unchanged.