Governor Inslee Says Time For Statewide Minimum Wage Discussion

By Austin Jenkins

Washington Governor Jay Inslee says it’s time for a discussion on raising the state’s already highest-in-the-nation minimum wage. The Democrat’s comments Thursday come in the wake of a vote in the city of Sea Tac and a new push by Seattle Mayor-elect Ed Murray to raise the local minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Inslee stopped short of calling for a $15/hour statewide minimum wage.

Jay Inslee: “I don’t have any particular number in mind right now, this is something we need to have a conversation about.”

Inslee says Washington’s base wage is not keeping pace even though it’s already the nation’s highest and has a built-in annual escalator.

Jay Inslee: “Look Henry Ford understand that he had to pay his people decent so they could buy his cars so, yes, I think that having a healthy minimum wage is an actual good thing for the Washington state economy.”

Inslee says the minimum wage should be part of a broader discussion about income inequality in an era of globalization. Earlier this year, Don Brunell of the Association of Washington Business argued the long term solution is economic growth. Quote: “Trying to artificially impose higher wages will slow job creation – the opposite of what we need and want.”

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