VT Lawmakers Call for 'Economic Rights'

Jan 28, 2014

Vermont Statehouse
Credit WAMC/Pat Bradley

A group of Vermont lawmakers is calling for a new "bill of economic rights," including a sharply higher minimum wage, guaranteed paid sick days and a requirement that employers have just cause before firing anyone.

At a news conference Tuesday, Progressive lawmakers were joined by Democrats, an independent and one Republican in calling for the package of reforms.

The Republican, Representative Francis "Topper" McFaun of Barre Town, said raising the minimum wage would allow arguments on both sides to be proven or disproven — either it would create jobs by putting more money into the economy, or kill jobs by prompting employers to hire fewer workers.

Progressive Representative Chris Pearson of Burlington said the changes would slow the widening gap between top earners and those at lower incomes.

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