Council overrides veto of minimum wage law
Published - 08/19/14 - 10:51 AM | 2966 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Todd Gloria
Todd Gloria
At a special meeting called during its August recess, San Diego City Council voted 6-2 on Aug. 18 to override Mayor Kevin Faulconer's veto of the city's hourly minimum wage ordinance, which provides incrementally increased pay over three years and five days' earned sick leave. The law is aimed mostly at helping low-paid restaurant and retail workers.

The ordinance sets San Diego's minimum wage at $11.50 per hour, implemented over three years, to increase to $9.75 in January of 2015, $10.50 in January of 2016 and $11.50 in January of 2017. Wages will then be modified to keep pace with the Consumer Price Index beginning in January of 2019.

The ordinance passed City Council along strict party lines, 6-3, on June 14 before being vetoed by Faulconer on Aug. 8. The city charter allows council to reconsider any resolution or ordinance the mayor vetoes and can override the mayor's veto with six votes.

Republican Councilmember Lorie Zapf, on a camping trip with her family in Lake Tahoe, did not vote on the override.

San Diego is among several cities across the country joining a push by Democrats and labor groups to increase the minimum wage at the local and state level as Republicans in Congress oppose raising the current federal wage floor of $7.25 an hour. The California minimum wage is $9 per hour and will climb to $10 next July.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has promised to try to roll back the wage increase through a referendum. It has about 30 days to gather the 34,000 signatures needed to place its challenge on the ballot.

Council President Todd Gloria said a referendum wouldn’t take place until the June 2016 primary election, meaning city officials and residents would debate the issue for nearly two years.

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