Mining wage

House and Senate Democrats push to raise WV minimum wage

CHARLESTON, W. Va. – Democratic state lawmakers say West Virginia needs to raise the minimum wage.

At a Tuesday press conference at the state Capitol, House and Senate Democrats renewed their push to approve legislation this session that would raise wages, given rising inflation.

Hannah Geffert

One of these invoices includes SB 428 which would raise West Virginia’s minimum wage to $10.50 effective January 1, 2023. The current minimum wage is $8.75.

Sen. Hannah Geffert (D-Berkeley), the bill’s lead sponsor, said going to work can be expensive.

“There are transportation costs, gas, repairs, maybe car payments, clothing and childcare expenses that could eat up most of a worker’s income,” Geffert said. .

The bill would require the minimum wage to be increased each year by the rate of inflation
determined by the consumer price index.

Several other bills would restore prevailing wages for workers on public construction sites, bills to compensate for personal and family leave when caring for a sick family member, and a proposed law guaranteeing equal pay for working women.

Geffert also proposed SB 464 to allow low-wage workers to claw back wages they have earned, but have not yet been paid.

Cody Thompson

“Each of these bills, if passed, would promote pay equity,” she said.

Introducing Delegate Cody Thompson (D-Randolph) HB 2840 to raise the state minimum wage in the next few years.

“This is a gradual wage increase to $15 an hour by 2025, a little more each year, to put more money back in the pockets of working families,” he said. he declares.

Democrats also mentioned their continued support for Gov. Jim Justice’s proposed 5% pay raise for all state employees.

Thompson said West Virginia’s elderly population should also be compensated.

Senator Richard Lindsay (D-Kanawha)

“Many of our retirees are on fixed incomes and are struggling to make ends meet. Choosing between their electric bill and their prescriptions every month is not something we should be doing to these people who have given us so much,” he said.

Sen. Richard Lindsay (D-Kanawha) said he thinks the state should pass a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage, as other neighboring states have done.

“We’re not retreading new ground here,” Lindsay said. “In Ohio, a Republican legislature and a Republican governor passed a constitutional amendment and put it on the ballot to raise their minimum wage and tie it to the consumer price index. It’s a reasonable policy and I think it’s something we can do here in West Virginia.

Last month, House and Senate Democrats proposed reducing the state sales tax from 6% to 4.75%.

“West Virginians deserve relief,” Lindsay said.

The 2022 regular legislative session continues until March 12.