Judge strikes down $15-an-hour minimum wage initiative for SeaTac, citing invalid signatures
A King County Superior Courtjudge has blocked a voter initiative in SeaTac that would set a $15-an-hour minimum wage for people working at Sea-Tac Airport and the surrounding hotels and hospitality businesses.
The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs, which is backed by labor groups, collected more than 2,500 signatures to put the proposal on the November ballot. King County Elections certified most of the signatures June 20.
Attorneys representing Alaska Airlines, the Washington Restaurant Association and other private businesses opposed the initiative and filed a lawsuit questioning the validity of the signatures, claiming that some were duplicated, undated or lacked the signers’ home address.
Judge Andrea Darvas ruled Aug. 26 that 61 signatures are invalid because some people had signed the initiative more than once. According to SeaTac Municipal Code, if someone signs petitions for an initiative more than once, all of the signatures by that person must be removed.
As a result, the initiative fell 17 signatures short of the required number to qualify for the ballot.
The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs is appealing the decision to the Washington State Court of Appeals, committee spokesperson Heather Weiner said.
In statewide elections, duplicate signatures must be removed, but the original signature is counted, Weiner said. SeaTac and other cities have laws that remove the duplicate and original signatures.
“We think that’s unconstitutional, and we’re appealing that immediately,” Weiner said.
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