The Senate last week voted out S.40 to increase the minimum wage. The bill is expected to be referred to the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee this week. Members are strongly encouraged to contact Representatives in opposition to the bill, which would be the third significant overhaul and increase in the base minimum wage rates in 15 years and make Vermont one of the highest minimum wage state in the country.
The bill would set out the following step increases in the minimum wage:
- January 1, 2018: $10.50
- January 1, 2019: $11.10
- January 1, 2020: $11.75
- January 1, 2021: $12.50
- January 1, 2022: $13.25
- January 1, 2023: $14.10
- January 1, 2024: $15.00
- After which it will increase annually by the lesser of the CPI-U or 5% (but cannot decrease).
The bill would require a legislative report by 2023 on potential alternative mechanisms for indexing the minimum wage to other measures of inflation.
With regard to the “benefits cliff”, or the phenomenon where some recipients of public assistance lose benefits owing to increases in their wages that exceed the wage increase, the bill does very little. The bill includes a provision to direct the Department for Children and Families to change the federal Child Care and Development Fund State Plan to (1) adjust the sliding scale of the Child Care Financial Assistance Program benefit to correspond with each minimum wage increase, and (2) adjust the market rate used to inform the fee scale accordingly. However, this would be dependent on specific appropriations each year to do so.
See a recent post on issues with increasing the minimum wage here.
Members are encouraged to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to discuss options for getting involved.
If you want to contact your Representatives directly:
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Phone messages can be delivered directly in the State House by calling (802) 828-2228.