Living Wage Bill vetoed by Mayor Vincent Gray

4:14 PM, Sep 12, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Mayor Gray has vetoed the D.C. living wage bill. 

"While intentions of its supporters were good, bill is simply a woefully inadequate & flawed vehicle for achieving the goal we all share," Mayor Gray tweeted.

In a letter to members of the D.C. Council explaining his decision, Mayor Gray said many bill supporters who spoke to him seemed to be relying on misconceptions about what the LRAA contained. (You can see that letter here:

The mayor ended his letter by saying, "I look forward to putting this debate behind us and working with the Council to do what President Obama proposed earlier this year and what several states and municipalities have recently done: pass a reasonable increase to the District's minimum wage for all workers. Meanwhile, we must remain firmly focused on my Administration's top priority of growing and diversifying the District's economy in order to create new good-paying jobs and to better educate and prepare our residents to obtain them. If I were to sign this bill into law, it would do nothing but hinder our ability to create jobs, drive away retailers, and set us back on the path to prosperity for all."

Walmart officials called the bill, which would require large retailers in the district to pay their employees at least $12.50 an hour, "discriminatory legislation."

"Mayor Gray has chosen jobs, economic development and common sense over special interests - and that's good news for D.C. residents,'" Walmart officials said in a news release.

D.C. labor leader Josh Williams says he's "disappointed in the mayor's veto of the living wage bill and "will fight for over ride." 

Councilmember Jim Graham says he plans to override the veto.

"Seven of my colleagues and I voted for the LRAA, and District employees deserve a living wage, and we should ensure that this happens," Graham said.

Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander is urging the D.C. Council to sustain the veto.


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