CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the minimum wage increase into law Tuesday night while also asking state lawmakers to change the bill before it takes effect June 8.

Tomblin said HB 4283 makes the right move by increasing the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 by 2016, but he contends it includes “unintended consequences” regarding overtime exemptions.

What we’ve always operated under are the federal exemptions for seasonal employees, for hospitals, for nursing homes and there’s a problem there,” Tomblin told reporters at the state capitol earlier Tuesday. “There’s a lot of problems with our (municipal) fire departments and police departments. It’s going to cost the cities hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The overtime language in the new law trumps the federal exemptions, though the governor doesn’t expect those to last long. In a statement released Tuesday night, Tomblin pledged:

I will call the Legislature into extraordinary session during the May interims, beginning May 19, 2014, to address the issues of great concern to businesses large and small—including the fiscal challenges expected to affect our local governments.  President Kessler and Speaker Miley have both committed to working with me to achieve this ultimate goal.”

Sen. President Jeff Kessler, who praised the governor for signing the bill, said changes can be made by lawmakers before the June 8 effective date.

“Signing this piece of legislation is not only the right thing to do for the state’s workers; it will also help the state’s economy.  This bill puts more money in the pockets of hard working West Virginians, who in turn spend their money locally.  This is a very positive measure for our state,” Kessler said.

House of Delegates Speaker Tim Miley said the House would work with the governor on his concerns.

The House of Delegates stands willing to continue working with Governor Tomblin and the Senate to ensure that the increased minimum wage has no adverse impact on the overtime laws that employers in the state are accustomed to following.”  

The House and Senate originally did not agree on the legislation. The Senate wanted the $1.50 increase spread over three years instead of two, but the House got its way on the last night on the regular session. Tomblin also said he preferred the three-year plan.

The minimum wage increase is expected to impact more than 100,000 state residents.

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Comments

  • I'm honest at least

    I'm calling BS if Earl Ray honestly had a care in the world about working class we would not have state employees getting food stamps.

    • Aaron

      The overall compensation of public employees is actually better than comparable private employees in Weat Virginia.

      • I'm honest at least

        I'll be happy to explain this real nice and simple for those of you that don't understand who I speak of. As in cooks, janitors, nurses, nurses aides, and any other real working class state employees that are not making a decent wage. Numbers look a lot better as a whole but these people deserve more.

        • Aaron

          I stand behind my statement.

    • Joe Schmoe

      So you want every state worker to make 30.00 an hour.

  • Tim C

    West Virginians had a chance to stop crap like this and still voted democrats in anyway. ....how much do they take out of your pocket before you get wise and stop this insanity. I'm a native West Virginian and was raised in a pro union Democratic Party loving environment and had enough brains to stop voting for them back in 1980. Wake up stupid people! Get ready to pay higher prices as a result of this bill.

  • Mike

    So ERT passes a pat raise bill,but vetoes a bill that would protect the unborn. What a man. Hope he sleeps well. I guess the unborn cant vote.

    • Michael

      Can't agree more Mike. I was thinking the same thing. Horrible decision making on ERT's part!!

    • JS

      First, what do each of those issues have to do with each other? Second, we scream about paying welfare to the low income, but don't want to pay them more when they actually work??? Third, conservatives jump up and down and scream when government interferes in their personal lives, but you want to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies???? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!!!

      • Mike

        . We pay those on welfare way to much in most cases.When you are to damn lazy to work and sit home on your ass all day,then you are paid to much. Most of these people don't want to work.Wefare has become a way of life. Grandpa,Mom and Dad have never worked so the kids expect the government to provide for them. Seems like they have money for beer,drugs and body art. Go to any store late at night. You will see them there. Dressed in there PJs,kids in carts that should be home in bed. They all have a pop and a bag of chips eating away. All this time they are spending my money on junk food for the week.Thats what is wrong!!

  • joyce w

    I work for a non-profit that is going to take a hit through cuts in grants-in-aid from the state over the next few years. Our board has already decided that if the state minimum wage is increased they will not replace part-time workers (college students, retired people making some extra cash). With that said, us full-time supervisors will now have to work more hours to make up for the lost help and no, we do not get paid by the hour nor are we entitled to overtime. In other words, more hours, same pay, de facto pay cut. Oh, and trust me, we make less than a starting school teacher. Thank you, Gov Tomblin, for thinking this one through. I will definitely remember this at election time if I actually get more than 15 min off in a day to go vote.

    • Aaron

      I think if I were you I was look into the law. Choosing employees from overtime pay, certain exceptions must be met. One of the rules that I can ascertain from the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour division is that unless are in supervisory positions overseeing full-time employees your status cannot base salary exempt meaning you qualify for overtime.

      This is one of the most widely abused sections of the wage and hour laws and should be monitored more closely but employees don't complain because they don't want to lose their job. If more than one person is being treated in this manner contacted Department of Labor anonymously and have them look into it.

  • Don Monroe

    its about time Earl Ray does something right

  • Sam

    Thanks Earl Ray. DOC employees are now closer than ever to working for minimum wage

  • Fed Up

    Stacey, I was awaiting your idiotic liberal spin. I'm so glad they will feel better about themselves. Meanwhile, the price of everything we buy will increase. Terrific!! Terrific!! Terrific!!

    • Stacey

      It's going to be okay. You will make it through this horrifying ordeal that is happening in your mind.

      Btw hosting a pity party is just so unbecoming.

      I must add just because I love the line, "save the drama for your mama."

    • Nate

      +1

  • Stacey

    Yay!!!! This is a great thing for those hard working West Virginians trying to make ends meet, just like everyone else.

    We should not keep costs down on the backs of our working poor.

    It is a great day to be in West Virginia!!!! Thank you so much Governor Tomblin, President Kessler, Speaker Miley and every member that voted for this bill!!

    On January 1, 2015 over 100,000 West Virginians are going to wake up and feel a little bit more valued than they did the night before. They will feel like their effort matters more to all of West Virginia.

    This is terrific. Just terrific news!!

    • Aaron

      "On January 1, 2015 over 100,000 West Virginians are going to wake up and feel a little bit more valued than they did the night before."

      Why? Unless they obtain some sort of training they will still be unskilled employees with the same long term employment outlook.

    • JS

      I agree!!! First, what do each of those issues have to do with each other? Second, we scream about paying welfare to the low income, but don't want to pay them more when they actually work??? Third, conservatives jump up and down and scream when government interferes in their personal lives, but you want to tell women what they can and can't do with their bodies???? CONSERVATIVES NEED TO MAKE UP THEIR MINDS!!!

    • Stacey

      I will be looking forward to this pay increase for low income workers and can't wait for all of your doomsday predictions to be seen as what they really are: bologna.

      I'm going to go spread the word now on what a glorious day it is to be in West Virginia!! I have lots of thank you's to write.

      I'm so proud of our state. We just showed over 100,000 people here that we care more about them trying to get out there and work than Washington DC or many other states.

      Such exciting stuff!!

    • Hillbilly

      Wait until your employer cut your hours to offset the costs... then see if you still celebrate.

    • The bookman

      Why all the celebration? The Governor signed a dysfunctional bill into law with the caveat it must be changed before enacted in a special session during the May interims. Nothing about this bill is set in stone, and I'm sure he's laid out his parameters and preferences to Leadership. I noticed he mentioned his preference for the three year implementation schedule. Hopefully they can take the next six weeks to dot every i and cross every t and get it right this time.

    • Low Rider

      Yeah Stacey! They will also pay higher property and local sales taxes to pay for the increased cost of paying firemen and policemen. And just think what the cost of assisted living and nursing home care will be now that nurses have lost the OT exemption as well. Three cheers for the liberals!

      • The bookman

        Why all the celebration? The Governor signed a dysfunctional bill into law with the caveat it must be changed before enacted in a special session during the May interims. Nothing about this bill is set in stone, and I'm sure he's laid out his parameters and preferences to Leadership. I noticed he mentioned his preference for the three year implementation schedule. Hopefully they can take the next six weeks to dot every i and cross every t and get it right this time.

  • jm

    Thank you Mr. Gov.........you just screwed the rest. While I do agree that min wage should be increased.........

    It is going to cause an increase in the price of goods and services that will inturn be felt by all. Bet the State employees and others will not be happy. The 500 dollar raise you gave the state employees amounts to about 11 cents per hour, and the fact that this is the first in about 8 years really is going to hurt.

    Great thing that you cannot run for re election.

  • JTF

    Really???

    Bill is flawed, but governor signs it anyway?
    And adds the minimum wage bill to the special session in May to 'fix" the problems in .

    So....what if the House and Senate cannot agree to the details of fix in May?

    Well...then a bad law the governor just signed will remain in effect costing cities (and city taxpayers) hundreds of thousands of dollars because of the "flaws" in the bill he signed as well as now affecting 80% of all businesses large and small--many of which were previously exempt from WV minimum wage laws but are not now.

    Anybody else see the potential FUBAR here?

    Why not veto the bad bill, and the governor draft a new minimum wage bill without the "unintended consequences" and add it to the list of bills of the call for the May special session.

    By what the governor did, he reversed the cart and horse.

    WV, what a state!

  • Low Rider

    I'd like to know how raising the minimum wage helps the states economy? Typically an increase in the minimum wage results in fewer employees or hours worked. It is obvious Jeff Kessler has never owned and operated a business.

    • Aaron

      Actually economic studies question that theory. While initially some areas see decreased employment opportunity and hours worked for unskilled labor with minimum wage increases they are generally short-lived and rebound very quickly.

      A recent study of observing New Jersey state minimum wage increases versus Pennsylvania showed that unemployment rates remained consistent and both states and the labor supply actually increased in New Jersey by 1/10th of 1percent.

    • Wowbagger

      It will help Tomblin, Kessler, and Miley tow the national Democratic Party line at a significant cost to the taxpayer. I thought the budget was really tight this year, then Puccio shows up with a tax credit for his client Jim Justice and then this.

    • Helen

      It's intended to help the lower paid workers in our state who work just as hard as workers making $15.00 per hour. Give the less fortunate among us. It's the right thing to do!!

      • Fed Up

        Helen is a typical, lazy piece of crap democratic voter, who has her hand stuck out and is willing to take anything that is handed to her. She will continue to vote democrat, because they feed entitlements and raise minimum wage, food stamps, etc...all in return for the vote of the uninspired and unmotivated scum. She and her kind will never better themselves, because it's easier to sit back and profit from those who work harder than she does.

        • whyi'mnotarepublican

          Comments such as the ones above are exactly why I am not a republican.

          • toofunny

            My guess is that you are not republican because you do no believe in free markets, limited governments or the constitution. You also do not understand job training, education and increasing work performance for raises versus government mandated raises, nor do you care to.

      • JTF

        Oh my....where to start....

  • The bookman

    We shall see how the legislature proceeds with the fix. Hopefully they manage the bill a little better the second time around, and reset the OT exemptions back to square. Of course, in the special session, anything could happen, especially considering differences remained between the house and senate just short of passage.

    • Aaron

      Perhaps the first stop should be to the judiciary committee. I don't believe it made it there was a bill was originally written.

      At any rate I think this is political pandering as the federal rate will be embraced that this but, if not more within the next year.

      What it will do is give setting candidates something to run on this year and will be used by supporters of current (alleged) leaders to claim effectiveness in their positions.

      Politics at its finest

      • The bookman

        Captain Q had great instincts. He sees how superficial they are whole the rest of us hold out hope for depth and wisdom.

        • The bookman

          While not whole

  • P B and J

    And welcome the $2.00 menu......

  • Big game

    And the cost of everything will go up now.

  • Charleston

    "Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the minimum wage bill into law Tuesday night while at the same time asking state lawmakers to change it before it takes effect."
    How is this constitutional? If you pass the law that was written in the chamber, and then sign it into law, then how can you change it before the law takes affect? This seems rather dysfunctional if you ask me.