MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) The Vermont House on Tuesday approved a significant hike in the state’s minimum wage, boosting it from $10.50 to $15 an hour by 2024. The plan already passed the Senate but House leaders had a tougher time finding the votes to advance it. It passed by just eight votes in the House on a count of 77-69. Opponents say the increase will harm small businesses and may harm low-wage earners because businesses will have to cut back on work hours. But proponents say raising the wage will help low-income Vermonters climb out of poverty. “Ten dollars and fifty cents an hour is a poverty wage. Anyone working at this level, especially those working jobs where there is no upward movement or built-in raises, cannot live easily in Vermont and require an investment from all of us in order to provide the supports needed to survive,” said Rep. Tom Stevens, D-Waterbury. “If you really care about minimum wage workers, why would you take action that would put at risk the welfare of some fraction of them, and in the next recession, perhaps a large fraction of them?” asked Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, says he… Read full this story
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