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D.C. Council Fails to Override Veto on Controversial ‘Living Wage’ Bill

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — The D.C. Council has failed to override Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto on the controversial Large Retailer Accountability Act.

WNEW’s Matt DelSignore reports that supporters of the bill loudly protested inside and outside the council chambers when the results were announced.

The legislation would have required Wal-Mart and other large retailers to pay their employees a “living wage” of at least $12.50 an hour.

The council approved the bill in July on an 8-5 vote. Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed it last week.

The council needed nine votes to override the veto, but the bill actually earned one less vote than it did when it initially passed. Anita Bonds was the councilmember who switched her vote to “no,” making the tally 7-6 — 7 for the bill and 6 opposed.

The bill put Washington at the center of a national debate over compensation for low-wage workers and whether certain companies should be required to pay more. Gray, a Democrat, called it a “job killer” and said it would drive away Wal-Mart and several other retailers.

Wal-Mart stated it would scrap plans for three of the six stores planned for D.C. if the legislation went through.

That bill would have required any non-union District retailer with a parent company making more than $1 billion per year and occupying at least 75,000 square feet will have to pay employees a minimum of $12.50 per hour. Current minimum wage in the city is $8.25. Federal minimum wage is $7.25.

WNEW’s Matt DelSignore contributed to this report. Follow him and WNEW on Twitter.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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