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House Passes Bill to Increase Minimum Wage in W. Va.

Aaron Payne

In the governor’s State of the State address, Tomblin said that one of his goals for the legislative session is to provide a pay raise for groups such as teachers and state workers. The House of Delegates voted on a bill that would do the same for a different group in West Virginia; minimum wage workers.

The committee substitute for H.B. 4283 would raise the minimum wage in West Virginia to $8.00 by January 1, 2015. The rate would rise again to $8.75 by beginning of 2016.

During Wednesday’s floor session, 11 delegates from both parties rose to support the bill saying that the increase, while not the final solution to poverty in the state, is a step in the right direction

Delegate Stephen Skinner of Jefferson County says that other methods to alleviate poverty are simply not producing results.

“What we know about the minimum wage today is that is falls on the people in poverty and that no one can survive on a minimum wage job,” Skinner said. “We’ve cut taxes in West Virginia by over 300 million dollars and we’re waiting for the trickle down. Well, it’s time for the people on the bottom to get a little trickle up.”

The bill passed by a vote of 89-5 and now moves on to the Senate.

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