The push to increase Virginia’s minimum wage was short-lived. Two bills sought to implement a mandated wage hike, but both were struck down by the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee last month, less than a week after session convened.
Senate Bill 785 would have raised the minimum wage to $8 per hour on July 1, 2017, to $9 in 2018, to $10.10 in 2019, and to $11.25 in 2020. Senate Bill 978 would have raised the state’s base wage to $10 per hour on July 1, 2017, to $13 in 2018, and finally to $15 in 2019.
This is a win for small business owners, many of whom would have to consider reducing hours or eliminating jobs altogether in order to stay open. NFIB/VA, along with the Virginia Chamber of Commerce and chambers of commerce for Prince William County, Roanoke, and Richmond, opposed these bills.
Americans at large are also hesitant about staggering increases to the minimum wage. According to a recent ValuePenguin study, 78 percent believe raising the minimum wage would increase the cost of goods and services and 52 percent believe a $15 minimum wage would result in fewer minimum wage jobs.