Virginia House OKs bill to halt minimum wage increases

February 1, 2022 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Virginia House passed a bill Tuesday that would halt future scheduled increases in the state’s minimum wage. But the measure is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled state Senate.

The House advanced the bill from Del. Nick Freitas on a 51-48 vote.

Democrats have argued that wages haven’t kept pace with productivity and that the scheduled increases will lift up workers and help families. Republicans said that the government shouldn’t set wages and that the increases will hurt small businesses.

A Senate committee has already killed a similar bill introduced in that chamber. The measure from Sen. Mark Peake died earlier this month on a 12-3 party line vote.

In 2020, when Democrats were in full control of state government, they passed a measure that laid out a path for the minimum wage to increase to $15 by 2026, contingent on future approvals. It is currently $11.