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Virginia House passes bill to gradually increase minimum wage to $15/hour

Republicans say wage hike will hurt small businesses

RICHMOND, Va. – An increase to the minimum wage in Virginia is looking more and more likely.

The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill Tuesday that would raise minimum wage nearly $2 this year to $10 per hour. It will increase steadily each year, eventually raising it to $15 per hour.

This is a look at how the bill, HB 395, outlines the growth of Virginia’s minimum wage:

  • From July 1, 2020, until July 1, 2021, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $10.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.
  • From July 1, 2021, until July 1, 2022, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $11.25 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.
  • From July 1, 2022, until July 1, 2023, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $12.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.
  • From July 1, 2023, until July 1, 2024, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $13.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.
  • From July 1, 2024, until July 1, 2025, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $14.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.
  • From July 1, 2025, until July 1, 2026, every employer shall pay to each of its employees wages at a rate not less than the greater of (i) $15.00 per hour or (ii) the federal minimum wage.

Democrats are praising the positive impact this will have on low-income families.

“I think we’ll do some modest minimum wage. I think people will like what we’ll end up doing,” said Sen. John Edwards (D), representing Roanoke.

Republicans representing our area echo small business owners’ concerns that a change in minimum wage could hurt them.

“Our entire economy is on the line. If they double the minimum wage or move it up substantially higher, there are going to be so many jobs lost in our region,” said Sen. Steve Newman (R), representing Lynchburg.

Also on Tuesday, the Senate passed a version of this bill in which the minimum wage growth rate would vary by region, depending on median income.

Changes to this bill have minimum wage increasing more quickly than when lawmakers first proposed it. The chambers will have to agree on the details by the end of the session on March 7th.


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