Legislation to Raise Virginia's Minimum Wage Killed in State Senate

Jan 21, 2019

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The minimum wage in Virginia is $7.25 an hour.  And, that’s not about to change anytime soon thanks to a party line vote.

Low-wage workers in Virginia are not about to get a raise anytime soon. That’s because the Virginia state Senate is rejecting a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Republican Senator Mark Obenshain of Rockingham says raising the minimum wage wouldn’t really benefit the people supporters are hoping to help.

“The problem with this is that a lot of jobs are going to disappear. It’s not just that people are not going to see increasing wages. They’re going to see their jobs go away.”

Senate Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw questioned why any business would want to pay the minimum wage anyway.

“Quite frankly if your business plan says that you can’t pay more than $7.25 an hour, you’re not really long for this world. And I gotta be honest with you I wouldn’t hire anybody who would work for $7.25 an hour.”

Some were hopeful that the minimum wage might be gaining traction this year because it got out of committee. But Democrats believe Republicans just wanted to get it to the Senate floor for some election-year grandstanding.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.