Santa Barbara, CA Living Wage

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Santa Barbara, CA, US

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Type: Ordinance

Status: Proposed

Source File: http://www.nscsb.org/living_wage.htm

Findings:

a. Many employers in Santa Barbara benefit from the City’s public funds. The City awards service contracts to for-profit and non-profit employers; it provides financial assistance and funding that enhance economic development and job growth; and it expends grant funds that serve City, state, and federal government goals.

b. Many Santa Barbara workers, including those employed by employers that receive public funds, still struggle to support families on income at or near the minimum wage required by federal and state law, often with no health benefits. This wage level increases poverty, strains City social services, and forces workers to live outside of the City.

c. The City is entrusted to spend taxpayer resources wisely. Expenditure of public funds for the procurement and provision of services is conducted most responsibly when it promotes a community economic standard intended to assure that City workers and their families can subsist above the poverty line, and when employees of employers receiving public funds are not forced to depend on City-funded social services because of inadequate wages.

d. The health and welfare of all Santa Barbara citizens is enhanced when Santa Barbara workers are paid a wage that enables working families to lift themselves out of poverty without having to rely upon charity and government subsidies. A decent standard of living for Santa Barbara workers benefits the entire community, contributes to economic prosperity, and promotes human dignity.

i. Employees earning a living wage and health benefits experience increased self-sufficiency, easing the burden on taxpayer-funded social services;

ii. Widespread access to health insurance enhances public health overall;

iii. Promoting a living wage is sound economic development policy. Increasing consumer income invigorates neighborhood businesses, revitalizing the economy by enabling broader participation in economic exchange;

iv. Healthy and well-paid employees are more productive and reliable workers and are therefore better able to provide high-quality services to the City and its residents. Payment of higher wages is associated with greater business investment in employee training, higher productivity, and increased employee retention;

v. Especially in light of the housing market in Santa Barbara, higher wages enable workers to afford to live in Santa Barbara, which in turn benefits local merchants and realtors by encouraging the expenditure of City-earned wages on products, services, and rents within the City; and prevents excessive use of the highways and the environmental damage associated with large-scale long-distance commuting.

e. The use of City funds to promote the employment of workers at a living wage will increase the ability of low-wage workers to attain sustenance, decrease poverty, increase consumer income, and reduce the amount of taxpayer-funded services provided in the City of Santa Barbara.

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