The latest round in the legislative battle between the Democrat-Progressive Legislature and Republican Gov. Phil Scott went to the lawmakers Tuesday noon, as the House overrode his veto of S.23, raising the minimum wage to $12.55 by Jan. 1, 2022.
Governor Phil Scott on Monday vetoed S.23, a bill that would have mandated an increase to Vermont’s minimum wage. This mandate would have been on top of increases that already occur annually under current Vermont law.
The Vermont House voted Friday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12.55 within two years, but the measure failed to garner enough votes to override a veto, should Gov. Phil Scott oppose the bill in the coming weeks.
New Hampshire currently defaults to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. After lawmakers last year approved raising it to $12 by 2022, Sununu vetoed it.
So there you have it. Vermont women earn 100 cents on the dollar if you take into consideration their work preferences, better than the 98 cents on the dollar that American women do. Without understanding this fact, a $15 minimum wage will do more harm than good.
On the first day back in session, the Vermont House faces unfinished workplace bills including contractor licensing, the minimum wage and paid family leave.
“A minimum wage hike may produce an immediate wage hike for many of the 2.2 percent of hourly workers who are impacted, but the higher labor costs force employers to cut non-wage benefits, like free meals, flexible leave arrangements, and health insurance coverage.”
If Buttigieg has overwhelming evidence indicating that the vast majority of the poor would see an overall increase in their pay (despite working fewer hours), then he could conceivably have an argument.
It may be true that some minimum wage hikes raise wages for a few lucky workers, but it comes at the expense of layoffs and shorter hours for others.
In his veto message rejecting a hike to New Hampshire’s minimum wage law, Gov. Chris Sununu argued that it would have increased unemployment and damaged the state’s economy.
Bernie Sanders’ rhetoric on the $15 minimum wage — rhetoric echoed by many politicians here in Vermont — just suffered a violent collision with economic reality.