Mayor vetoes council-approved minimum wage bill - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mayor vetoes council-approved minimum wage bill

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A decision on whether the City Council will vote to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer's veto of a council-approved ordinance to increase the minimum wage will not be made today, Council President Todd Gloria said.

Faulconer Friday vetoed the City Council-approved ordinance that would incrementally increase the minimum wage in San Diego to $11.50 and mandate that employers offer five paid sick days to workers each year.

The City Council has 30 days from today to consider an override, and Gloria said in a statement the council will consider overriding the veto. Scheduling a vote to override the veto could prove problematic with the council set to begin a four-week recess today, and no council meetings scheduled until the second week of September.

Faulconer held a news conference flanked by small business owners who joined him in opposition to the ordinance, approved on a 6-3 vote by the City Council in July.

"Today I'm vetoing the City Council's wage ordinance because we need these and other small businesses to thrive," Faulconer said. "This wage ordinance would make it harder for them to hire and employ San Diegans who need work ... The burden of the council's wage ordinance falls squarely on the shoulders of San Diego's small businesses and the families who they employ."

Faulconer said San Diego's small businesses compete with "restaurants in Poway, stores in Chula Vista and shops in National City that won't face this same increase."

With six council members supporting the wage increase, the mayor's veto will likely fall victim to an override. It would take at least a 6-3 council vote -- two-thirds or more -- to override Faulconer's decision.

"When 38 percent of San Diego workers don't earn enough to make ends meet, something must be done," Gloria said. "That is why the mayor's veto of this reasonable, common-sense measure is disappointing. Thankfully the City Council understands that our working families are struggling, and I believe will act to override this veto."

If none of the council members change their previous votes -- Mark Kersey, Scott Sherman and Lori Zapf cast dissenting votes in July -- it could set the stage for a referendum.

Business interests have qualified two referendums over the past year, forcing the council majority to repeal one of its actions and place the other before a public vote -- where it lost.

Gloria originally proposed having residents vote on the minimum wage in November, but the council majority wanted to adopt the wage hike directly.

Former Mayor Jerry Sanders, who now leads the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, commended the mayor's veto of the ordinance, which he said would put San Diego at a competitive disadvantage to nearby cities.

"Mayor Faulconer showed strong leadership in making this decision that protects the San Diego economy, particularly our small businesses and jobs," Sanders said. "We urge City Council to accept the mayor's veto and not override this ordinance which will hurt working families, San Diego consumers and employers."

The organization Rise Up San Diego issued a statement saying the mayor's veto denied "hundreds of thousands of working people access to sick days and a raise," and compared San Diego's ordinance with a similar one passed in San Jose.

"Given the success San Jose has had with its minimum wage ordinance, I and a lot of other San Diego business people are surprised Mayor Faulconer vetoed ours," said businessman Mel Katz. "There's significant proof that the

San Jose minimum wage has helped that city's economy -- a similar ordinance could help ours."
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