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Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Proposition J
Minimum Wage Increase
City of San Francisco

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 174,143 / 77.43% Yes votes ...... 50,771 / 22.57% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |

Shall the City gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 1, 2018, with further increases based on inflation?

The Way It Is Now: In November 2003, San Francisco voters passed the minimum wage ordinance. Only voters can amend this ordinance.The current minimum wage is $10.74 per hour for work performed in San Francisco.This minimum wage increases annually based on inflation.

The current minimum wage ordinance does not mention whether or not it applies to City employees or to employees of the In-Home Support Services Public Authority, a State-funded agency that provides services to help elderly and disabled persons in San Francisco remain in their homes.

The Proposal: Proposition J is an ordinance that would increase the minimum wage for employees who per- form work in San Francisco as follows:

  • on May 1, 2015, the minimum wage would increase to $12.25 per hour;
  • on July 1, 2016, the minimum wage would increase to $13 per hour;
  • on July 1, 2017, the minimum wage would increase to $14 per hour;
  • on July 1, 2018, the minimum wage would increase to $15 per hour; and
  • beginning on July 1, 2019, the minimum wage would increase annually based on inflation.

Proposition J would apply to City employees and to employees of the In-Home Support Services Public Authority.

Two types of employees would receive a limited increase: employees under the age of 18 working in a government-subsidized training or apprenticeship program; and employees over age 55 working for non- profits that provide social welfare services and whose positions are government-subsidized.These employees would receive a minimum wage of $12.25 per hour starting on May 1, 2015, with annual increases starting on July 1, 2016, based on inflation.

Fiscal Impact:
City Controller Ben Rosenfield has issued the following statement on the fiscal impact of Proposition J:

Should the proposed ordinance be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would have a significant impact on the cost of government.

The ordinance increases the City's minimum wage to $12.25 per hour in 2015 and requires specified annual increases until reaching $15.00 per hour rate by 2018. Annual cost-of-living increases would then apply for years after 2018.The measure would apply to both private and public employers in the City, with narrow exceptions outlined in the ordinance.

The Controller's Office estimates that the ordinance will increase City government costs by approximately $12.8 million in fiscal year (FY) 2015+16, $23.9 million in FY 2016+17, $39.4 million in FY 2017+18 and $56.3 million in FY 2018+19. The majority of these costs are attributable to higher wages required for non-profit social service organizations that contract with the City.

City cost increases would continue automatically every year after 2018 at the rate of the Consumer Price Index and could not be changed except through voter approval.

The City's costs could be reduced in future years if the State determines that some costs are reimbursable under State guidelines.

This statement does not address the impact of the proposed ordinance on the private economy.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
If you vote "yes," you want the City to gradually increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by July 1, 2018, with increases based on inflation after that.

A NO vote on this measure means:
If you vote "no," you do not want the City to increase the minimum wage.

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Arguments For Proposition J Arguments Against Proposition J
Yes on Proposition J + Increasing San Francisco's minimum wage to $15.00 an hour just makes sense. Our workers will benefit, and so will the local economy. With the rising cost of living, minimum wage workers struggle to live in San Francisco. Under Proposition J, the City's minimum wage will gradually increase until it reaches $15.00 per hour by 2018. After that, the City will adjust the minimum wage based on increases to the cost of living.

By increasing the minimum wage, we can take an important step to support the workers and their families that make San Francisco run. Proposition J will give much needed money to these workers, which in turn will stabilize the workforce and benefit local businesses.

Currently, San Francisco's minimum wage is set at $10.74 per hour.This means that a full-time worker with two children earns less than $22,400.00 per year, a wage below the federal poverty level.This is unacceptable.

Proposition J is:

  • Fair to workers: Raising the minimum wage will give a raise to more than 100,000 San Francisco workers.
  • Fair to consumers: Raising the minimum wage will strengthen our local economy by increasing con- sumer spending by over $100 million.
  • Good for our community: Raising the minimum wage lifts up low-wage workers without impacting overall employment.

Please join us in voting YES on J. It is a true "win-win" for our city.

I am Henry Karnilowicz, president of the San Francisco Council of District Merchants Associations.

We are opposed to the increase in minimum wage to $15.00 in such a short time.The increase will impact hiring entry level workers, cost of doing business will increase and thus it will pass on to the consumer.This will not benefit the low income workers.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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