I just came from a mark-up of education bills that increased our investment per student in areas of the city that need it the most. Now I am gladly supporting an increase in the minimum wage and sick leave for restaurant workers. These two items are not unrelated – and in fact, I am very pleased to support our students and increase wages for entry level positions. This is a two-front battle against generational poverty.
Increasing the minimum wage is a victory for workers. It is long overdue and I am very happy to see that we won’t have to have a jump like this again now that we have indexed the wage including cost-of-living increases. Businesses in the region can now have the certainty they are seeking and workers in the area have come close to realizing the entry level living wage that they deserve.
I introduced an amendment to the bill that will hopefully make the minimum wage reporting provision less burdensome on restaurants by requiring all minimum wage certifications to be available online. I will follow up with the appropriate agency to ensure this is a simple one-click certification if no wages had to be supplemented and a two-click process when wages do have to be supplemented. All enforcement and certification should fall on the agency, not on the business. Businesses just need to keep good records in case of an audit, as they should anyway. The desired outcome of this provision, and this amendment to it, is an increase of prosecution of bad actors and less burden on responsible business owners.
Voting today to support a focused effort to improve education where it is most needed and higher wages for those who most need it is why I ran for office. This is a good day for D.C.