Opponents of a planned hike in San Diego’s minimum wage said they have collected more than 56,000 petition signatures, well above the 34,000 required to place the issue before voters.
The county Registrar of Voters will now review the signatures gathered by San Diego Small Business Coalition, to certify that the minimum number are those of registered voters, which would qualify the referendum for a future ballot, most likely in June 2016.
The wage hike was scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, but enforcement would be delayed until after voters cast their ballots.
Coalition spokesman Jason Roe said the registrar will be making its certification decision within the next 30 days. San Diego City Council will then have 10 days to rescind or revise the wage-hike ordinance, or place it on the ballot.
Under the legislation passed in July by City Council, San Diego’s minimum wage would rise to $9.75 per hour in January 2015, $10.50 in January 2016 and $11.50 in January 2017. Additional wage increases tied to the local consumer price index are scheduled to begin in January 2019.
The city’s minimum wage is currently the California minimum, which went from $8 to $9 per hour on July 1.
The coalition’s petition drive began after City Council overrode a mayoral veto in August. Petition gatherers had a Sept. 17 deadline to collect the required signatures.