(CNSNews.com) - Inside the measure the D.C. Council passed to raise the district’s minimum wage to $15 an hour was an amendment to have a study on the possibility of having government provide a basic income to D.C. residents.
“Raising the minimum wage is a good thing, but is $15 enough? Or should the number be $35 or $50 an hour?" Councilman David Grosso (I-At-Large) said during Tuesday night's meeting.
“In order to comprehensively address the need of our residents we should consider all avenues, to include transferring away from the traditional welfare system into a minimum income system,” said Grosso.
“A minimum income system is an alternative social welfare provision with the basic idea of providing a floor of income upon which residents can build other sources of revenue.”
Grosso didn’t say what that income should be, but did tell council members that $15 an hour would not be enough.
“$15 at full time is $2,400 a month. That is not enough to actually live in the District of Columbia. When you add transportation, health care, education, housing to all of these costs – then what we really need to be looking at is what it actual cost to live here is and to live a meaningful life here,” Grosso said.
“And we shouldn’t be putting the burden solely on our businesses to make this happen. Instead we need to look at it comprehensively and that’s what this study will allow us to do. To see how we can make sure that everyone who wants to work and live in the District of Columbia can actually afford to do so.”
Grosso did vote in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the district by 2020, but reiterated his belief that the legislation would likely need consistent amendment, and that having the government give residents a certain amount of money to spend as they wish each year should be studied.
“Raising the minimum wage is a good thing, but is $15 enough? Or should the number be $35 or $50 an hour? Without a greater economic impact examination and a thorough study of a number of approaches we run the risk of implementing legislation that does not properly address the needs of our residents and will consistently need to be amended year after year,” Grosso said.