Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Family Economic Security > Legislature overruled the governor, raised the minimum wage

Legislature overruled the governor, raised the minimum wage

There was a celebratory feeling in the air in Montpelier on Tuesday after the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto of S.23, the bill to increase Vermont’s minimum wage. The governor rejected the bill despite the support of nearly three-quarters of Vermonters for the increase.

In the end, the Legislature decided that 40,000 of the lowest-paid Vermonters needed the raise.

While many policies that get discussed in the State House are complicated and can be controversial, this isn’t one of them—at least outside the building. This policy is popular and straightforward because Vermonters know it puts money in the pockets of those who need it most: working parents, older adults, and the disproportionate share of women in low-wage jobs.

And the policy isn’t out of whack with our neighbors. The bill would raise the wage to $11.75 in 2021 and $12.55 in 2022. After more aggressive increases in New York and Maine in 2016, Massachusetts in 2018, and Connecticut in 2019 (and Rhode Island maybe on its way this year), Vermont’s modest increase will help us keep pace and move closer to a livable wage.

Vermonters know this is a good idea. And the Legislature got it done. That’s why the cheering isn’t limited to Montpelier. There are households all over the state that now have another reason to celebrate New Year’s Day 2021 and 2022.

Posted by Stephanie Yu on February 27, 2020 at 3:32 pm

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