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D.C. lawmakers approve a $15 minimum wage

D.C. lawmakers approved a measure Tuesday that would raise the hourly minimum wage to $15, joining lawmakers in New York and California who have passed similar proposals in recent months.

In an unanimous vote, the Washington, D.C. City Council approved a bill that would gradually increase the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020. From there, future increases would be linked to inflation, the Washington Post reported. In the same time frame, the base pay for tipped workers will also increase from $2.77 an hour to $5 an hour.

District Mayor Muriel Bowser pledged today to sign the measure, which is expected to hit her desk in the summer.

“I see how much it costs to live in Washington, D.C., and that cost is only going up,” the Associated Press quoted Bowser as saying. “Even at $15, it’s tough to be able to afford to live in Washington, D.C.”

On Twitter, the mayor said this latest victory in the “Fight for 15” movement would “directly benefit 127,000 workers.”

The call for better benefits and conditions for low-wage workers stemmed from a 2012 rally of hundreds of fast-food workers in New York demanding fair pay.

In the years since, the movement’s efforts have culminated in a series of victories for service industry workers in cities like Los Angeles and Seattle, while California and New York became the first states to adopt a statewide $15 an hour minimum wage, which will occur over several years.

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