Last Wednesday, Jay Inslee took time out of his not-so-busy schedule to have dinner with Service Employee International Union (SEIU) boss David Rolf and liberal billionaire and Democrat financier Nick Hanauer. Considering Rolf and Hanauer are champions of arbitrarily high minimum wages, we can only assume that the dinner involved a discussion on raising the statewide minimum wage to $13.50.
It wasn’t so long ago that Hanauer, upset with Republicans in the state Senate for acting as a roadblock for the Democrats’ $12 minimum wage bill, told the Seattle Times that if the Legislature doesn’t pass the bill, he would go to the ballot with “a statewide $16-an-hour minimum-wage initiative in 2016.” The initiative, which he calls “$16 in ‘16” is something Hanauer say he is “dead serious” about doing.
In other words, Hanuaer attempted to blackmail state legislators.
It’s unclear how “dead serious” Hanauer might still be concerning his $16 minimum wage. By every indication, despite assembling a team of far-left activists to push an initiative this year, he is not prepared follow through on his threat.
Certainly, Inslee has done his part to appease Rolf and Hanauer. Inslee used his annual State of the State address to outline his usual big-spending, big-government agenda for 2016, which includes supporting for a labor-backed initiative to push the minimum wage to $13.50.