‘Living Wage’ Bill To Hit Mayor Gray’s Desk By Friday
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LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC/AP) — D.C.’s controversial Large Retailer Accountability Act, which was passed by the city council in July, will be on Mayor Vincent Gray’s desk by Friday, according to Council Chairman Phil Mendelson’s office.
Gray could still veto the bill, and has not said publicly if he plans to or not. He will have 10 days once the legislation reaches his desk to decide whether to sign it into law.
Without a veto, the bill would mean that any non-union District retailer with a parent company making more than $1 billion per year and occupying at least 75,000 square feet would have to pay its employees a minimum of $12.50 per hour.
Current minimum wage in the city is $8.25. Federal minimum wage is $7.25.
Wal-Mart, which has asked Gray to veto the bill, says it will scrap plans for three of the six stores planned for D.C. if the legislation goes through.
Three Wal-Mart stores are already under construction. The three that would be dropped are planned for Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue.
But Wal-Mart spokesman Steve Restivo said in a statement that the company would “review the financial and legal implications on the three stores already under construction,” as well.
Following Wal-Mart’s announcement in July, Gray told the council that he has deep reservations about the act. Two of the stores that would be imperiled by the passage of the measure are located in majority-black communities east of the Anacostia River, where Gray lives and where unemployment is much higher than in the rest of the city.
Representatives from six other retailers — AutoZone, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Macy’s, Target and Walgreens — undersigned a letter asking Gray for a veto, as well.
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