Vermont House Approves January Minimum Wage Increase

Apr 9, 2014

Vermont House Chamber
Vermont House Chamber
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont House passed a bill Wednesday afternoon  that would make the state the first in the country to cross the $10 mark in its minimum wage.

The bill  would boost the wage to $10.10 on January 1st, 2015. Two other states — Connecticut and Maryland — plan to get to that level by 2017, and that's when Governor Peter Shumlin wants Vermont to do so.

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith released a statement noting that the House vote “...moves the state closer to a livable wage and means that Vermonters will be more likely to be able to meet their most basic needs,”

Supporters of moving the wage to $10.10 sooner say the purchasing power of low-income working Vermonters has been severely eroded in recent years and they need a significant boost soon.

Critics of jumping in one step to $10.10 say small businesses need more time to adjust, and it would be better to phase in the increase.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.