Richmond, Virginia—In the first major test of this legislative session, Democratic members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted to protect our progress and rejected SB173, a bill sponsored by Senator Mark Peake that would cap the minimum wage at $11 an hour and prevent it from rising to the $15 an hour promised by previously passed legislation. Working people across the Commonwealth are thrilled that Democratic lawmakers have protected our progress and kept their promise to ensure that no one has to choose between putting food on the table or keeping the lights on because the minimum wage is so low.
“We’re grateful that Democratic members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted to protect our progress and rejected a bill to cap the minimum wage at just $11 an hour,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “Everyone should have the opportunity to thrive in our communities and feel financially secure. Raising the minimum wage to $15 brings us closer to making that a reality for all of us, regardless of what we look like or where we live.”
“Virginia’s working families deserve a raise, and we’re thrilled that Senate Democrats rejected this bill to cap the minimum wage at just $11 an hour,” David Broder, President of SEIU Virginia 512, said. “Everyone deserves a good job so we can take care of ourselves, our families and our communities. Raising the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and ensuring union rights for all workers is critical to building a Commonwealth where everyone – regardless of the color of our skin, our gender identity, where we come from or where we live – can thrive.”
Data from the Economic Policy Institute. More information is available from The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis.
Low wage workers are supporting families.
- 6 in 10 low wage workers are women.
- One-quarter of workers who would benefit from raising the minimum wage are supporting children.
- 300,000 Virginia children live in a household that would see increased income from increasing the wage.
Low wage workers are working full time.
- 774,000 full-time workers in Virginia would be affected by raising the minimum wage.
- 61% of all Virginians who would benefit from an increased minimum wage are working full time.
Low wage workers are older:
- Most low wage workers aren’t teenagers looking for spending money.
- 92% of impacted workers are 20 years old or older.
- 70% of impacted workers are 25 years old or older.
- These are adults who are building their lives and raising families on a minimum wage income.
Raising the minimum wage is good for the economy.
- Raising the wage to $15/hour over five years would generate a total wage increase in Virginia of $5,534,108,000.