We should work towards equal opportunity (fair outcomes) rather than using government to enforce equal outcomes. Minimum wage activists are pushing an agenda of equality over fairness. I don't think wages are something state government should be in the business of regulating. It's not because I don't care about the minimum wage workers, that couldn't be further from the truth. Rather, I feel we should be raising workers out of poverty through education and job training rather than by raising the minimum wage.
What do we do instead of a minimum wage? If elected, here are some things I'd be doing to help:
1. Fair education funding. Washington State is unconstitutionally under-funding the poor schools in our state. We must ensure everyone has access to quality education opportunities so they have the skills to compete.
2. Keep the economy growing. As long as demand for labor is high, employees will have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating wages.
3. Implement a youth wage. Washington should mirror federal law by only requiring workers under 20 to be paid 60% of minimum wage for their first 90 days on the job. I would also propose adding a second bracket at 80% of minimum wage for workers under 26. This will enable young, low skill workers to land their first job and prove their value to employers.
Initiative 873 seeks to change the law regarding use of force by removing the phrase "without malice and with a good faith belief" from the existing statute.
We should not continue to ask our officers to think when they barely have time to react and we, as civilians, are not held to the same, high standard. Even the legislature acknowledged this double standard when it passed the law in 1986. Rather than maintain the dual standard, we should apply the simplified standard in RCW 9A.16.050 to officers and civilians alike. This single standard will enable officers to use force to prevent the subjection of any person to great personal injury or any other felony. Initiative 873 is a step in the right direction, but it only addresses half of the problem.