If the Governor signs a bill sent to him by lawmakers, Virginia’s minimum wage will go up next year. It’s been set at $7.25 for more than a decade. Lawmakers approved a jump to $9.50 an hour starting next year.
In 2022 the statewide minimum wage would go up to $11 an hour, then $12 the following year. According to the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, more than a million Virginians will get a pay increase.
“Ultimately this is about people. Hardworking people who are doing everything right and they are still struggling to survive,” said Delegate Jeion Ward on the House floor. “This legislation is for so many people who feel invisible in our economy but who are essential to our success. This legislation says, at long last, we value you.”
While there’s no exemption for small businesses, the minimum wage wouldn’t apply to farm workers, au pairs, and kids working part-time. The tipped minimum wage also isn’t impacted.
David Broder, with Virginia’s chapter of the Service Employees International Union says one major victory is the inclusion of domestic and homecare workers.
“(That) makes it a significant step forward for both economic justice, and racial justice,” said Broder.
The minimum wage would get up to $15 dollars an hour by 2026 if lawmakers vote again in 2024 to approve that jump.