by Ryan Burns
Here's a ray of hope for people working at Eureka's Taco Bell. Or Wal-Mart. Or any other business* in the city that pays workers as little as the law will tolerate:
A petition to boost Eureka's minimum wage to $12 an hour has received enough valid signatures to be presented to the City Council at its March 19 meeting. And if the council shoots it down, as proponents predict it will, the measure will be placed on next year's ballot.
Eureka City Clerk Pam Powell announced earlier today that the "Eureka Fair Wage Act" was signed by 1,635 qualified voters, easily clearing the threshold of 1,370 signatures (10 percent of the city's voters in 2011) needed to be deemed legit.
If the measure succeeds, it would give Eureka the highest minimum wage in the country by a fairly wide margin. The mark is currently held by San Francisco, where the lowest wage is $10.24 per hour. Minimum wage in Eureka (and most of California) is $8 an hour. President Obama, in his State of the Union address, called for raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25/hour to $9/hour.
*CLARIFICATION: The act would only apply to employers with 25 or more employees.