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Vermont Senate Passes Minimum Wage Increase

January 31, 2020

The minimum wage could increase for Vermonters in the next couple of years. 

On Thursday, January 30, its state Senate approved a measure (Vermont Senate Bill 23) that would raise the minimum wage to $12.55 an hour, as NBC 5 Burlington reports. The minimum wage in Vermont is currently $10.96 an hour.

At first, the bill would increase the state’s minimum wage to $11.75 an hour in 2021. It would then increase by 80 cents in 2022.

It’s unclear if the state’s Republican governor, Phil Scott, will sign the bill. He vetoed a proposal to raise Vermont’s minimum wage to $15 an hour back in 2018.

Supporters of increasing minimum wage say workers in low-paying jobs need and deserve a raise. Opponents say it restricts freedom and increases unemployment by driving up the cost of providing a job.

During a press conference Thursday, Scott said, “A convenience store, let’s say up in Lunenburg, for instance, is far different than the convenience store in downtown Burlington or in Williston or in Shelburne,” according to The Washington Times .

If the bill is does not become law, the state’s minimum wage will still likely increase next year as it is indexed to inflation, according to the Vermont Department of Labor.

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