The Virginia House of Delegates today voted to raise Virginia’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024 — including the largest single-year jump in Virginia history starting July 1. The bill also removes a number of exemptions from the minimum wage requirement, including small businesses with less than four employees.
House Republicans opposed House Bill 395 out of concern of its impacts on employment and the disproportionate burden it places on small businesses.
“These pay increases may be feasible for big companies in some regions of the state, but for the numerous small and family-owned businesses across the Commonwealth, wages like these could mean the difference between staying afloat and closing up shop for good,” said Del. Terry Kilgore, (R-Wise). “Democrats say they want to help working people, but this will put a significant number of them out of a job.”
“Basic economics shows that raising labor costs leads businesses to reduce their workforce and increase the cost of goods and services,” said Del. Joe McNamara, (R-Roanoke). “While the intent of this bill is to raise families out of poverty, it will have the opposite overall effect by reducing incomes for low-wage workers.”