Florida Thirteenth Circuit Court Judge Rex Barbas dismissed a lawsuit filed by Hillsborough County Commissioner Stacy White regarding a transportation sales tax approved by Hillsborough County voters in November 2018.
Referendum 2 was placed on the general election ballot in November after the group All for Transportation led a successful citizen initiative petition campaign. The measure received 57 percent approval from voters and authorized a 1 percent sales tax to fund transportation projects in the county. In December, County Commissioner Stacy White filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the sales tax arguing that provisions of the initiative illegally allowed tax revenue to be allocated without the approval of the county commission. All for Transportation filed a motion calling for the lawsuit to be dismissed on January 24, 2019. The group argued that White did not have standing to file the lawsuit in his official capacity as county commissioner.
On March 11, 2019, the Denver City Council voted unanimously in favor of Council Bill 19-0163, a minimum wage increase backed by Mayor Michael Hancock. The measure was designed to raise the minimum wage for city employees, city contractors, and employees working on city properties from $11.10 an hour to $13 in July 2019, $14 in July 2020, and $15 in July 2021.
Prior to the bill’s passage, the city was set to vote on an initiative to increase the minimum wage for employees at the Denver International Airport during the May 7 municipal election. Unite Here Local 23 began collecting signatures for the minimum wage citizen initiative in August 2018. The Denver Elections Division verified in November 2018 that the group had submitted a sufficient number of signatures to place the initiative on the May ballot. Approval of the citizen initiative would have enacted minimum wage increases following the same schedule as the mayor’s bill but with increases only for employees working at the airport.
Council Bill 19-0163 provides for the minimum wage increases for airport employees supported by Unite Here Local 23 while it also provides for the same increases for other city employees, city contractors, and employees working on city properties. Following the council’s vote to pass the bill, proponents withdrew the citizen initiative from the May ballot.