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$15 Minimum Wage Advances in Vermont, but Veto Likely

May 16, 2018

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MONTPELIER, Vt.—The Vermont House approved a bill May 9 that would raise the state’s minimum wage from $10.50 to $15 an hour by 2024, but Gov. Phil Scott is expected to veto it. The House passed the bill by voice vote the day after it had backed it by 77-69 in a preliminary vote, with several Democrats voting no and a few Republicans voting yes. Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas (D-Bradford), a coffeeshop owner, said raising the minimum would help businesses because it “allows us to draw good employees from New Hampshire” and that workers are “never going to get to work on time if they can’t afford to put snow tires on their car.” But Rep. Heidi Scheuermann (R-Stowe) said it would hurt “small retail establishments already struggling to stay competitive with online retailers.” The bill now goes back to the state Senate, which passed a similar bill in February. The Senate vote was 20-10, enough to override a veto, but the number of supporters in the House was far short of the needed two-thirds majority. Gov. Scott told WCAX-TV in Burlington in April that raising the minimum wage “is just artificially raising the cost of living for Vermonters.” Read more

May 16, 2018

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