CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Both state Senate President Jeff Kessler and House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley are urging Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to sign the bill raising the minimum wage into law.
The legislative leaders commented on the bill Thursday after concerns have been raised in recent days focused on the changes the bill makes in overtime rules.
“Any minor clarifications regarding exemptions in HB 4283 can be taken care of during a brief special session before its effective date and is not a reason to veto the bill,” Kessler said in a prepared release.
Speaker Miley said hard-working families deserve to make a living wage.
“If people spent as much time and energy working to improve the bill as they have arguing against it, West Virginians would be much better off,” Miley concluded.
But both private and public employers are highlighting the overtime changes and some have said Gov. Tomblin should use his veto pen.
“The unintended result is that all West Virginia employers with six or more employees would be required to comply with state overtime requirements that otherwise have not been updated since 1982,” Terry Sterling, Wheeling Chamber of Commerce president, wrote in a letter to Tomblin. “That old law lacks many of the exemptions of federal law, which now determines how most West Virginia businesses handle overtime.”
But Sen. President Kessler maintained signing the bill was the right thing to do for the state’s workers and the state’s economy.
“This bill puts more money in the pockets of hard-working West Virginians, who in turn spend their money locally,” Kessler said.