A national push to create a $15 minimum wage found a new source of momentum Tuesday as an initiative on the issue built an early lead in the airport city of SeaTac.
The campaign drew national attention from labor unions and business groups, with the two sides combining to spend $1.8 million — enough money to hire every registered voter in the city for a day at $15 per hour.
The proposal requires a $15 minimum wage for many workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
Proponents say the plan will support the local economy and particularly help thousands of workers who could use the money.
Opponents express concern about the impacts on businesses and contend that the plan’s enforcement could end up costing the city money.
Washington has the nation’s highest state minimum wage at $9.19 an hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
The campaign also drew the attention of the mayoral candidates in nearby Seattle. Both Mayor Mike McGinn and challenger Ed Murray voiced support for the initiative and the idea of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle.