Quantcast

Vt. House bucks Shumlin, speeds wage hike - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. House bucks Shumlin, speeds wage hike

Posted: Updated:
MONTPELIER, Vt. -

Members of the Vermont House spent all day debating a proposed hike to the minimum wage only to land almost exactly where they started, but the bill is a far cry from what the governor first proposed just more than a month ago.

The House gave approval to a raise for Vermont's lowest-earners Tuesday.

But unlike the governor's plan to raise the bar to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the House's plan would do so by next year. Proponents say a study by the state economist shows the move will be good for everyone's bottom line.

That left Republican opponents and some Democrats fighting for the governor's plan on the floor. They argue an immediate raise hurts business. They also worry raising wages could lead some to fall off the benefits cliff as higher earnings cut their eligibility for the social safety net

Proponents counter that people want independence and say a higher wage will have a net positive impact.

"Why wouldn't we agree with the findings of the study, giving these hard working Vermonters a raise, put $30 million back in to the Vermont economy and save taxpayers $3 million," said Rep. Jean O'Sullivan, D-Burlington.

"I think Mr. Speaker that this is a mistake. I think it's a bad message for the body to be sending to small businesses across the state of Vermont," said Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington.

In 2006, Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont, pledged tying Vermont's minimum wage to the cost of living would eliminate the need for these debates in the Statehouse.

Proponents of the House's plan point out that Shumlin's pitch would only amount to about a 25-cent raise given inflation by the time it was fully implemented.

At a news conference earlier in the day, the governor stood by his plan but did say he's willing to compromise.

Senators say they don't expect the Senate's appetite for a minimum wage hike to be as substantial as the House's.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Man accused of taking school bus on a drunken joy ride

    Man accused of taking school bus on a drunken joy ride

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:09 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:09:10 GMT
    A Lowell man faces a slew of charges after allegedly stealing a school bus.
    A Lowell man faces a slew of charges after allegedly stealing a school bus.
  • Three hurt in Essex crash

    Three hurt in Essex crash

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:08:33 GMT
    A two car accident in Essex Saturday evening.
    A two car accident in Essex Saturday evening.
  • Drug bust in Bristol

    Drug bust in Bristol

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:07:19 GMT
    Police say David and Cathy Fleming of Bristol, Dameon Williams of Brooklyn New York, and Oleitha Turner of Mount Vernon New York have been arrested.
    Police say David and Cathy Fleming of Bristol, Dameon Williams of Brooklyn New York, and Oleitha Turner of Mount Vernon New York have been arrested.
  • Bike and donut race in Burlington

    Bike and donut race in Burlington

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:14:42 GMT
    It's a race for bike riders with a huge appetite. Finally, the kind of race where eating too many donuts is not only okay, but all part of the strategy to win.
    It's a race for bike riders with a huge appetite. Finally, the kind of race where eating too many donuts is not only okay, but all part of the strategy to win.
  • Motorcycle rally rolls through Killington

    Motorcycle rally rolls through Killington

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:14 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:14:05 GMT
    The Killington Classic motorcycle rally brings in thousands of enthusiasts excited about bikes and gives the local economy a boost.
    The Killington Classic motorcycle rally brings in thousands of enthusiasts excited about bikes and gives the local economy a boost.
  • DJ A-Dog remembered in Burlington

    DJ A-Dog remembered in Burlington

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:12:52 GMT
    Skateboarding is usually not permitted in City Hall Park in Burlington – but Saturday was an exception to the rule.
    Skateboarding is usually not permitted in City Hall Park in Burlington – but Saturday was an exception to the rule.
  • Mini Highland games in Quechee

    Mini Highland games in Quechee

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:12:06 GMT
    Saturday young campers at the Quechee State Park competed in their own Mini Highland Games.
    Saturday young campers at the Quechee State Park competed in their own Mini Highland Games.
  • Music Festival in Burlington

    Music Festival in Burlington

    Saturday, August 30 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-08-31 01:11:24 GMT
    Musicians from around the world are making their mark in Vermont this week.
    Musicians from around the world are making their mark in Vermont this week.
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.