D.C. joins numerous cities and the states of California and New York in raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. The wage increase was unanimously approved by the D.C. Council. Currently, the District of Columbia has a minimum wage of $10.50 that will increase to $11.50 in July, as per legislation signed in 2014.
The bill, once signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, who has pledged to sign it when it reaches her desk this summer, will gradually raise minimum wage until it reaches $15 in 2020, reports The Associated Press.
As with the passing of the $15 minimum wage in California and New York, the bill has been met with mixed responses. Michael Saltsman, research director for the Employment Policies Institute, said, “D.C. can either have the same number of opportunities it has in the service industry right now, or it can have a $15 minimum wage, but it can't have both.”
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan seems to agree, saying “I think that will actually do more harm than good in so many instances.”
Elisandro Morales, who works two part-time jobs, says that a $15 minimum wage would allow him to only have to work one job and spend more time with his children.