Debate Heats Up as "Living Wage" Bill is Vetoed for D.C.

The “Living Wage” bill, (as discussed by KRA Corporation in a previous post) has been the subject of heated debate in the nation’s capital. It was recently defeated when Washington D.C. Mayor, Vincent C. Gray vetoed the bill. In detailing the reason for the veto, Mayor Gray described it as a “job killer”.  The subsequent D.C. council vote to try and override the veto failed when only seven of nine Council members voted against the measure.

Opponents to the bill—known as the Large Retailer Accountability Act—felt the criteria placed on particular larger corporations was unfair and likely to keep businesses out of D.C., while supporters pointed to the increasing difficulty for area residents to make ends meet considering D.C.’s low-wage employment.

The bill has drawn some attention, and some intense discourse, from quarters across the country. The debate over the need to increase jobs as a means to stimulate the economy versus the quality of life that these low-wage jobs will ultimately offer has sparked impassioned sentiments with the benefits of employers and employees being put at odds.

The topic of minimum wage has been one that continues to make headlines around the country (as monitored by KRA Corporation in earlier posts). President Obama has come out strongly in favor of raising the Federal minimum wage, calling on Congress to do so, stating that  “no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.”

Minimum wage increases continue to raise concerns about how business will be negatively impacted and that it can have the same job-killing results that Mayor Gray quoted.

Department of Labor Secretary, Tom Perez— who has championed the cause of raising the minimum wage since taking office—used the official blog Work in Progress, to address those concerns and to believing that an increase represents a “fair shake” and a vision that “the middle class is within reach no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Furthering discourse, and/or at the very least heightening awareness, regarding the plight of those living on minimum wage in an attempt to move closer toward employment-and-earning equality is a position that KRA Corporation fully endorses.

Despite Mayor Gray’s veto, as an organization operating two TANF Employment Programs for the D.C. Department of Human Services, KRA’s Corporations’s mission continues to be rooted in preparing D.C job seekers for tomorrow’s global economy, and supplying area employers with a trained and reliable workforce.  Our efforts in D.C workforce development remain committed to improving the lives of individuals and their communities.