Advocates push for $15 minimum wage in Vermont

Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 4:16 PM EST
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The state's minimum wage will be one of the issues Vermont legislators could look at this session.

Tuesday, lawmakers and activists hopped to work right after the speaker's gavel fell, advocating for a $15 an hour minimum wage.

The Raise the Wage coalition is calling on Vermont lawmakers to increase the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. They say in 2024, $15 an hour will be worth about $13 an hour in today's money.

The coalition also says raising the minimum wage would help close the wage gap for people of color, women and people with disabilities.

"People should be able not only to make livable wages for their work, but people should be able to thrive in working full time. We have to stop valuing the interests of corporations over those struggling in our society," said Asma Elhuni of the United Valley Interfaith Project.

At the beginning of this year, the minimum wage rose 18 cents an hour to $10.96. That's almost a 2% increase over last year.

At the end of the 2018 legislative session, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would raise Vermont's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The governor says he doesn't want to raise the minimum wage but will consider a more moderate approach such as extending the time period or changing some of the rates.