D.C. Council Backs Rare Regional Movement for $11.50 Minimum Wage

December 4, 2013

The D.C. Council unanimously endorsed an $11.50-an-hour minimum wage for the nation’s capital Tuesday, completing a rare act of regional cooperation with the Maryland suburbs and setting up a stark contrast with the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

By coordinating with lawmakers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, which approved similar measures last month, the council put the three localities on the cusp of creating a contiguous region with 2.5 million residents and a minimum wage higher than any of the 50 states. Virginia requires employers to pay the federal rate.

The D.C. Council must hold a final vote on the rate-increase measure and send it to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), probably early next year. But with all 13 council members pledging their support, the final vote appeared to be a formality and likely wide enough to override a veto by Gray, who repeated Tuesday that he would prefer a smaller increase — to $10 an hour.

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