Push grows to raise Vt.'s minimum wage

By:  Terri Hallenbeck

MONTPELIER — Though there has so far been little talk in the Legislature of raising the minimum wage this year, that could be about to change quickly. Gov. Peter Shumlin and legislative leaders said Wednesday they hope to pass a bill this year that would substantially boost the wage.

“We’re talking to legislative leadership about it. I’d love to see us get a minimum wage bill,” Shumlin told the Burlington Free Press. “We’re leaving too many lower-income workers behind. The way to fix that is to pay them a fair wage for a day’s work.”

House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, and Senate Majority Leader Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, confirmed that they’re on board. Even though the Legislature is about to hit its midway point and the deadline for crossing bills from one chamber to another, the bill has strong prospects, they said.

“I think that there is a real possibility that a minimum wage bill could move this year,” Smith said.

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