The Virginia Senate is blocking the repeal of the minimum wage increase

RICHMAND, Virginia (WRIC) – A committee of the Virginia Senate has voted to repeal three proposed Monday motions to lift a planned minimum wage increase, undermining Republicans’ top legislative priorities.

Under current Virginia law, the minimum wage must grow each year until it reaches $ 15 an hour in 2026. After that, it will be adjusted annually to offset inflation.

HB 320 would eliminate these planned increases by freezing the minimum wage, where it is currently $ 11 an hour. A similar bill was repealed in the Senate before this session.

HB 1040 would exempt all businesses with less than 10 employees from the minimum wage, effectively allowing them to enjoy the federal minimum wage of $ 7.25 per hour, which has not increased since the George W. Bush administration.

HB 296 would allow employers to credit health care costs against the minimum wage requirement, provided they pay at least $ 11 an hour.

All three bills was adopted by the House earlier at this year’s session of the General Assemblybut were defeated before leaving the Senate Trade and Labor Committee.

“Given the record high inflation and the fact that working families are doing more with lower prices, it’s important that we continue to provide Virginia with the tools they need to live a productive and healthy life,” said Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw.

Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said keeping the minimum wage is one of her party’s top priorities.

“In Art United Statesalmost 55% of the minimum wage is for women, and more than half of African Americans earn less than $ 15 an hour, “she said.” The economic stability of every Virginia resident requires a minimum wage solution. “

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