Seattle business group proposes amendment to overturn new $15 an hour minimum wage

Restaurants are just one of the many businesses affected by the new minimum wage.

SEATTLE -- A group of independent businesses filed a a charter amendment to Seattle's new minimum wage law, which could force a public vote that would usher in a much slower approach to raising the minimum wage.

The group, Forward Seattle, wants the public to vote on a new minimum wage plan that would only raise the wage to $12.50 by 2020. This is much lower than the $15-an-hour phase in recently adopted by the Seattle City council.

The charter amendment, if voted on by Seattle residents in November, would effectively overturn the new $15 an hour minimum wage law.

"The citizens of Seattle are entitled to exercise their right to vote on an alternative way to increase the minimum wage which will so greatly affect the economic stability and development of the city," Forward Seattle said in a statement Thursday.

Forward Seattle is proposing what they call a "straight-froward, no exceptions" approach toward adopting a new minimum wage. Subsequent wage increases would follow this schedule:

July 1, 2015 - $10.50

July 1, 2016 - $10.90

July 1, 2017 - $11.30

July 1, 2018 - $11.70

July 1, 2019 - $12.10

July 1, 2020 - $12.50

The group said they are pushing for the amendment because businesses are "underrepresented" in the wage debate.

"We believe that an increase in the minimum wage is a matter of justice, solvency, and survival, not just for workers and the Seattle local independent business community, but for the citizens involved in them and the public at large."

Proponents of the new, already approved minimum wage increase have not yet released a statement on the proposed amendment.

This story will be updated when Forward Seattle holds a press conference at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.