A phased-in minimum wage increase required of businesses located in the city of San Diego that would have raised the wage from $9 to $11.50 by 2017 will be put to a public vote on June 2016 following a unanimous 9-0 vote by the San Diego City Council.
The council was faced with the choice of rescinding the wage increase or placing the measure on the ballot for the next regularly scheduled city election, which won’t happen until June 2016.
The council approved the wage increase in July, but the San Diego Small Business Coalition, a group of opponents, collected nearly 56,000 signatures that were verified by the county’s Registrar of Voters as sufficient to qualify the measure for a public vote.
As proposed, the minimum wage for San Diego workers would have increased to $9.75 an hour in January; $10.50 in January 2016; and $11.50 in January 2017.
According to the coalition, the wage hikes would result in many small businesses cutting jobs and/or workers’ hours, and losing sales to neighboring cities that haven’t increased the minimum wage.
Councilman Todd Gloria, who pushed for the initial wage increase, said he was confident that San Diego voters would support the increase at the ballot box. He said opponents to the wage hike funded a deceitful campaign in collecting signatures to challenge the measure.
“I look forward to a campaign based on facts, rather than the lies told during the signature gathering process,” Gloria said.