SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council's Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee cleared the way Monday for Council President Todd Gloria and the City Attorney's Office to draft a ballot measure that would raise the minimum wage in San Diego faster than planned state hikes.
Gloria wants to place before voters in November an initiative that would provide a "meaningful" increase in the minimum wage for all people working in San Diego; tie the pay rate to a cost-of-living index that would be updated annually; allow a phase-in period that gives more time for small businesses and nonprofits to raise pay; and give five days of earned sick leave for all employees, regardless of industry or business type.
"Nobody who works full-time should have to live in poverty," Gloria told the committee members."And yet more than a quarter of full-time workers in San Diego find themselves in that very situation."
Gloria has not specified an actual amount of pay that he prefers.
The minimum wage in California is $8 per hour. The state plans an increase to $9 an hour in July and $10 an hour in two years.
The Center on Policy Initiatives, which supports a wage increase, estimates that a single person living on a stripped-down budget needs to make a $13.09 hourly wage to live in San Diego. Around 300,000 households in the region have incomes too low to meet basic expenses, according to the CPI.
The committee voted 2-1 to have Gloria and the city attorney return April 30 with a more detailed ballot proposal.
Councilman Mark Kersey, who cast the dissenting vote, called for an impartial analysis of the economic impact of a faster rise in the minimum wage. He said he was concerned about the effect large hikes in labor costs would have on mom-and-pop businesses.
"I'm not exactly sure where that money will come from," Kersey said.
Those types of businesses could flee San Diego for neighboring communities, he said.
A representative of Mayor Kevin Faulconer also called for an independent analysis of any proposal.