D.C. minimum wage increase proposal coming 'very shortly'

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - A proposal to raise the minimum wage in the District of Columbia is forthcoming in the wake of a veto of the city's living wage bill is likely forthcoming in the not-too-distant future, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray indicated Thursday.

Gray vetoed a bill last week that would have forced large retailers located in the district a wage of $12.50 per hour, $4.25 higher than the city's current minimum wage.

In an appearance on NewsTalk on NewsChannel 8 Thursday, the mayor reiterated his stance that the Large Retailer Accountability Act was a job killer that only would have affected a small sliver of D.C. residents.

"Who would it have helped? It would have killed jobs and killed our economic development efforts that have increased tremendously," Gray said.

At the heart of the living wage bill controversy was Walmart, which is going ahead with plans to build six of its big box stores in D.C. after threatening to cancel three locations if Gray signed the legislation.

Gray said that any move that targets so few retailers - 8 to 10 of them, by his count - does not benefit the city as a whole.

"I indicated that I would have a proposal," Gray said about his plans to raise the discussion of increasing the city's current $8.25 minimum wage. "We need to raise the minimum wage and we will very shortly have a proposal."

Washington's minimum wage is a dollar more than the federal minimum.