CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill that would raise the minimum wage in West Virginia is headed to the floor of the House of Delegates for consideration. A changed version of the bill passed the House Finance Committee Thursday afternoon.

The original bill called for the minimum wage to increase from the current $7.25 an hour to $7.85 an hour July 1st and then rise again to $8.25 in July 2015. The new bill, passed by the committee Thursday, would increase the wage to $8.00 beginning Jan. 1, 2015 and then increase it to $8.75 an hour Jan. 1, 2016.

(Read new minimum wage House of Delegates bill here)

Del. Doug Skaff, D-Kanawha, said he favored the change because it gives businesses more time to prepare.

“I think it takes into consideration many things in planning from a business standpoint,” Skaff said.

It’s estimated the increase would help about 100,000 state residents. The state says 26 percent of all jobs in West Virginia are minimum wage jobs.

Del. Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, expressed concern of the increase in cost to the state.

“What programs would be cut based on the fiscal note that’s attached to the bill?” Cowles asked. “The (state) Division of Labor wants to hire 10 or 11 new workers just to run compliance on the bill.”

The measure now heads to the full House for consideration.

Cowles and Del. Marty Gearheart, R-Mercer, were the only committee members to vote against the bill.

 

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Comments

  • Kevin Grayson

    Does the State and it's Representatives take into consideration businesses like Assisted Living Facilities who serve Medicaid residents? WV Medicaid reimbursement is currently $1,196 per month. If a worker makes 7.25/hr and works 40 hours per week that is $1,160 per month leaving just $36per month left to provide food, utilities, and medical services to that recipient. Raising to 8.75/hour would be $1,400/month going to that same worker which leaves a $204 deficit income to the facility per resident/employee ratio.
    Look I'm all for raising minimum wage but the State must follow suit and increase reimbursement on WV Medicaid if they expect to keep Assisted Living facilities thriving in WV. If not expect to see hospitals over run, homeless shelters full, and nursing homes under staffed and filled to capacity.
    Economic stimulus is defined as economical growth of sustainable measures. Economic turmoil is defined as increased strain on current economic patterns with out measurable economic growth.
    Looks to me HOD hopes to increase WV income tax and unemployment compensation and create a massive homeless population for the poverty stricken disabled Medicaid recipients.
    Review things wisely HOD or you may find yourself in a swirling bowl of water and then it dons on you YOU are the turd in the bowl going down.

  • KC Culp

    A local company who employs 100 people will see its entire profits wiped out by a $1.50 increase in the minimum wage.
    Do the math, 100 people x 2080 hours x $1.50 = $312,000 per year.
    Their only alternatives will be to lay people off and/or raise prices. Then, who loses?

  • everyday outdoorsman

    I agree with ole sasquatch

  • SPRUCEKNOB

    If minimum wage does get raised to $8.75 then what should those folks that are already making $8.75 be raised to? I would like you folks that are in favor of raising the minimum wage to respond to this question.

    • Jason412

      If the Federal Minimum wage is increased it will be the 30th time. I imagine we'll do what we did the 29 previous times it was increased.

      • SPRUCEKNOB

        you still didn't answer my question. If you are proposing paying minimum wage entry level workers $8.75 per hour then what would you propose paying those workers whose skills are currently worth $8.75 per hour?

  • David

    How will the increase help those that lose their jobs due to the increased load on small business?

  • Jason412

    Did you develop your business after 1938? If so then you should be used to the Fair Labor Standards Act. I don't know why you're acting like your business hasn't always been "lorded over" and minimum wage is something new just now being imposed on your business.

    Did you start your business thinking minimum wage would just never be increased again?

    • Ole Sasquatch

      Well did you know that former sales auctioneers make poor grocery cash register people?

      • Jason412

        Nope, I certainly did not know that. I'll keep that in mind in case any sales auctioneers ask me for advice on a career change.

  • o

    I want to become a business owner so I can be lorded over.

  • Tressiecup

    This is an outrage. In today's economy the price of everything has raised tremendously and the government expects people to live on money that won't even pay for thier gas to and from work, so what is the point of having the job? This is why so many Americans don't have jobs. Make the change in wages and make it worth while to have the job and you might just help solve the problem. People aren't going to work just to pay to get to work! It is useless.

    • HDSurveyor

      I believe the main reason people don't work is because of the plethora of gov't programs make not working a viable option. If we must insist on gov't intervention, then programs should be developed to reward those, up to a point, who choose to work. Maybe instead of raising the minimum wage and putting that all on the employers, we could redirect monies from other programs to add to hourly rates of employees who are hired at the current minimum wage. Just a thought. With all the money that runs through the government's coffers, you would think that a few reasonable minded people could come up with some solutions to incentivise and reward ambition and thereby wean folks from the oppressive system that is camouflaged as government compassion.

  • takemetoemstar

    I've got news for all you simpletons that think that raising the MW will help the 'average' worker. just concluded several meeting internally at my organization (service) - we are preparing to raise all of our pricing across the board in order to offset what we will have to pay if and when a MW increase goes into effect. thus, we just pass it along and the supposed new buying power drops b/c everyone will just pay higher prices. as your grocery items, gas, and leisure items go up in price, remember this when you get your new pay rate.

    • Tressiecip

      I can tell from your post that you have more than a as you put it MW job so why should you care about those who can't afford to live right now? People are homeless because the job they had wouldn't pay for thier house payment and they are hungry because the job they have or had takes all of the money for gas to get there and back. Put yourself in these people's shoes before calling them names, I would say you are the simpleton and you refuse to see the big picture. Have some compassion for others who aren't so fortunate !

      • Jonathan

        And by raising the minimum wage there will be more homeless people becasue businesses will have to reduce its workforce. There is only so much money available and yes the business owner should get rewarded for thier risk and hard work. Everyone has the opportunity to get educated and earn a higher wage. Its called the capitalism and not socialism. Someone making money is not a bad thing.

  • Bondo

    The state has their foot in their mouths on this one. This minimum wage will effect some of their own state workers. Specifically OA's.

  • jay zoom

    SHOWTIME the elections are coming

  • Jason412

    "The state says 26 percent of all jobs in West Virginia are minimum wage jobs."

    That's a lot higher percentage then I would have thought. I wonder how that 26% compares to neighboring states.

  • Phil

    I understand wanting to look good for voters and increase minimum wage but this will just increase the cost of these service. The middle class will be the ones to move closer to poverty. The upper class will continue to be the upper class and the lower class will gain ground on the middle class. This will hurt the average family.

  • Mountain Navy

    Why not make it 20 bucks an hour? If it does not hurt the economy make it 20 bucks.

  • Joe

    So will the state government step up to the plate and be a leader and increase their employee's wages???

    • Mountain Navy

      No I was going to work for the state of WV but did not want the pay cut.

      • sam

        but look at all the great benefits. Yeah right. I like the kiss alotaass benefit. I don't use it but alot of people do. It works they get raises that the public does not know about. wish i never starting working for the state. i have too much time invested to leave. they got me where they want me.