Minimum wage hike passes in Virginia House

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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - The Virginia House of Delegates has passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour later this year.

That’s just one of hundreds of bills lawmakers tackled on Tuesday, as they faced a major deadline. This is the point in the General Assembly session known as Crossover, and Tuesday was the deadline for each chamber to complete work on its own legislation.

While most of the work went quickly, some of the bills, like House Bill 395, sparked debate. Democrats argued an increase in the minimum wage is long overdue. Republicans labeled the legislation a job killer.

The amended House bill would raise the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour in July of this year, and to 15 dollars by 2025.

Delegate Dawn Adams (D-Richmond) said, "The disparity between those who can afford to have a family with one job, and those who can ill afford to have a family with multiple jobs, affects every one of us, through our taxes, our program funding and our lens from which we view the world and the people in it."

But Delegate Joe McNamara (R-Roanoke County) said, "I would suggest to you it is economics. Many existing business models do not have the capacity to absorb the change. Jobs will go away."

The minimum wage bill passed in the House on a party line vote. Tuesday night, the State Senate passed a competing plan that would raise the minimum wage to nine dollars fifty cents in July, and go to a regional approach in 2024.

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