The problem with letting cities set the minimum wage

The Spokesman-Review editorializes for maintaining the current statewide minimum wage law without local variation. The editorial uses the SeaTac $15 minimum as a teaching moment.

… Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia, would stop the wage wars by forbidding any local government entity to set a minimum above the state level. Bravo, Braun.

Employees are migratory, not so businesses. The owner of a hotel in SeaTac will have to absorb the new minimum wage costs there, perhaps by raising room rates, and thus giving competitors just outside of the city an advantage. Future hotels will be built outside the city, or they will be built small enough to qualify for an exemption – if they believe future changes will not lower the minimum room standard.

The paper also notes that in this lackluster recovery, having the nation’s highest minimum wage has not been helpful. Still, they conclude:

Initiative 688 wasn’t much loved by business in 1998, but it was endorsed by two-thirds of Washington voters, and it has provided predictability.

Let it be.

 Makes sense. The NCSL has an easy rundown of the minimum wage across the nation.