PRESS RELEASE: HOUSE PRELIMINARILY APPROVES MINIMUM WAGE BILL

08 May 2018

For Immediate Release

May 8, 2018

 

Contact: Katherine Levasseur

(802) 828-2245

KLevasseur@leg.state.vt.us

 

VERMONT HOUSE PRELIMINARILY APPROVES MINIMUM WAGE BILL

 

The Vermont House today gave preliminary approval to S.40, the minimum wage bill.

 

“Raising the minimum wage ensures the lowest earners in Vermont receive a much-needed pay increase,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “The modest increase approved by the House today slowly raises the minimum wage to $15 per hour over six years, ensuring Vermonters receive a boost and our employers have ample time to adjust to the new wage laws. Better wages help our state economy, strengthen our workforce, improve our local communities, and moves families to self-sufficiency.”

 

“Our Vermont statutes declares that workers employed in any occupation should receive wages sufficient to provide adequate maintenance and to protect their health,” said Representative Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury). “Vermont employees should be paid a wage that allows them to live and thrive. Our current minimum wage of $10.50 per hour means that a full-time worker earns just $21,840 in a year. 8.5% of all jobs in Vermont pay minimum wage. As rents rise, childcare costs increase, and the Trump administration cuts the very programs that keep Vermont families afloat, we need to increase take-home wages to ensure our families have the resources they need to survive. Anyone working at this level, especially those who work in jobs where there is no upward movement, or built-in raises, cannot live easily in Vermont and require an investment from all of us in order to provide the supports they need.”

 

“As we carefully considered this bill, we heard testimony from Vermonters across the state in support of raising the minimum wage,” said Representative Helen Head (D-South Burlington), Chair of the House General, Housing, & Military Affairs Committee. “Additionally, we studied other cities and states who are implementing a gradual increase to a $15 minimum wage and learned of the positive impact this change is having on low-income families. Economic justice demands that we level the playing field, and this bill does just that.”

 

 

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