Groups hoping to increase San Jose’s minimum wage in November through Measure D lost a court fight on two fronts Thursday.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Mark H. Pierce ruled that a line about costs from Measure D’s ballot statement must be taken out because it is misleading. He also rejected arguments that opponents of Measure D should have to change their ballot statement because minimum wage backers “failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the subject arguments are false and misleading.”
Pro-business officials celebrated the legal ruling, while labor-aligned forces downplayed the judge’s decision.
“This is a big win,” said San Jose/SiliconValley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Matt Mahood. “It’s a win for voters because now they’ll be getting the truth about what Measure D really does, and it’s a win for our campaign because it validates our message and points to facts the Labor Council doesn’t want the public to know about.”
“We lost, they won,” Christopher Platten, an attorney for the Measure D campaign, told the Mercury News. “Judges are human and humans make mistakes. The fight goes on.”
Measure D opponents say that the ballot measure backers were attempting to mislead the public by claiming that Measure D did not create a new city bureaucracy costing taxpayers more than $600,000 per year.
“No matter how they try to spin it, it’s a huge loss for the Labor Council and those who support this ill-advised measure,” said Tab Berg, another political consultant for the NO on D campaign.
Despite the claims of victory and trivial defeat from both sides, most experts believe Measure D will pass in November.
If passed, Measure D would make San Jose one of few major U.S. cities to have their own minimum wage law. Measure D would raise the hourly wage from the current statewide $8 minimum to $10 with a provision for annual inflation-indexed increases.