Any day now, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray will make up his mind on an issue that is being watched across the nation.
What will he do when it comes to the Large Retailer Accountability Act, known to many as the Living Wage Bill?
It is my view that Mayor Gray shouldn't waste any more time and he should veto this bill immediately.
The bill the council passed before the summer recess forces big box stores like Walmart to pay workers a minimum of $12.50 an hour. The current minimum wage is $8.25. But Walmart has said if the mayor doesn't veto the bill it will not go ahead with three planned stores and could pull out of D.C. all together. Other large retailers planning to do business with D.C. are watching this very closely.
Everyone deserves a "fair" wage - however, this is a 50% increase on the current minimum wage. It is just too much, and will squash large retailer growth in the city.
Walmart and potentially other big box retailers moving into the District will create good jobs in the construction sector and many long term reliable jobs in their stores. Not to mention, the tax revenue they will generate.
In addition, many of the planned Walmart stores are in neighborhoods that are not only in desperate need for development but also fresh food and inexpensive goods that Walmart can offer.
To me this is common sense, we need stores like Walmart to develop and build in the city. This bill, if not vetoed, would prevent this from occurring. But as we have seen many times - common sense isn't always the rule of law in the District.
Mayor Gray must veto this ill-conceived bill.
That is my view. I would like to hear what you think - please comment below on our Facebook page.
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