I was asked by the St. Albans Messenger a series of questions that will continue each week until the election on November 6th. This is the fourth question: This past session the legislature approved a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024, which was then vetoed by Gov. Phil Scott. Do you support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour?
How we move forward with minimum wage in the State of Vermont should be done in a thoughtful manner. I will support policies that incentivize people to reach their potential and in doing so increase their income. When we consider the impact of $15 minimum wage we have to consider the whole story. The Joint Fiscal Office testified that a $15 minimum wage could cost the state almost 3,000 jobs annually, leaving Vermont’s most vulnerable without work or without the hours they would need to make a living.
Vermont is in the middle of an affordability crisis and placing a bigger burden on those businesses is not the way to grow our economy and in turn grow Vermonter's incomes. 90% of Vermont’s employers have less than 20 employees and a $15 minimum wage would hurt those businesses.