Billionaire GOP Governor Vetoes $3 Minimum Wage Raise, Calling It “Drastic”

A GOP governor worth $3.6 billion has a problem with a $3 minimum wage raise for workers in his state.

ABC affiliate, 13 News Now, reports:

“Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed two top Democratic legislative priorities on Thursday: bills that would have allowed the recreational retail sales of marijuana to begin next year and measures mandating a minimum wage increase.

The development, which drew criticism from Democrats who control the General Assembly, did not come as a surprise. While Youngkin had not explicitly threatened to veto either set of bills, he told reporters he didn’t think the minimum wage legislation was needed and had repeatedly said he was uninterested in setting up retail marijuana sales.

The minimum wage bills would have increased the current $12-per-hour minimum wage to $13.50 on Jan. 1, 2025, and then to $15 on Jan. 1, 2026. Youngkin said the bills would ‘imperil market freedom and economic competitiveness.’

The bills would ‘implement drastic wage mandates, raise costs on families and small businesses, jeopardize jobs, and fail to recognize regional economic differences across Virginia,’ he said in a news release.

Virginia Democrats began an effort to increase the minimum wage in 2020. They passed legislation that year — which took effect with a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic — establishing incremental increases up to $12, with further bumps requiring another Assembly vote.

They and other advocates have argued the legislation would help working families afford basic necessities and keep up with inflation. One local business owner agrees.

Erik Kopack is the co-owner of Kobros, a coffee shop on 21st Street in Norfolk. He pays his employees above minimum wage because he believes it’s not enough to live on.

‘People are still struggling at $15 an hour to ensure that rent’s paid, electric bills paid, and they’re able to put gas in the car,’ Kopack said.

Democratic Sen. L. Louise Lucas said in a statement that the bill would have set ‘a standard that would affirm our commitment to the dignity of labor and the belief that everyone deserves a fair shot at economic stability.'”

For the rest of the storyt, visit 13 News Now here.

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