SeaTac voters will get to decide on $15-an-hour minimum wage
A voter intitiative in SeaTac that would set a $15-an-hour minimum wage for people working at Sea-Tac Airport and the surrounding hotels and hospitatlity businesses will appear on the November ballot.
The Washington State Court of Appeals ordered the initiative put back on the ballot, overturning a King County Superior Court ruling that found the initiative proponents did not have enough valid signatures.
The ruling came Sept. 6, just a few hours before King County’s deadline for ballot items.
The proposed SeaTac minimum wage would apply to a limited subset of businesses: those that exist because of the 30 million people who travel through the airport each year, including airlines, hotels, car rental companies and restaurants located at Sea-Tac Airport.
A $15-an-hour wage would put Sea-Tac workers’ wages on par with employees at airports in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, who make between $12.43 and $15.37 an hour.
Attorneys representing Alaska Airlines and other private businesses asked the state Supreme Court to stop the voter initiative from appearing on the ballot in a last-minute effort Sept. 6. The Supreme Court denied the request without a hearing Sept. 10.
Alaska Airlines opposed the initiative and filed a lawsuit questioning the validity of the signatures, claiming that some were duplicated, undated or lacked the signers’ home addresses. King County Superior Court Judge Andrea Darvas threw out 61 signatures that were duplicated. In a statewide initiative, the original signatures remain and only the duplicate signatures are thrown out.
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.
Appeals court Judge Stephen Dwyer called SeaTac’s law “goofy.”
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