RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A bill that would have gradually increased the minimum wage in Virginia from the federally mandated $7.25 to $15 by the year 2021 died in the Virginia Senate on Monday.
The vote for SB 1200 was split along party lines with the 21 Republican majority defeating the 19 Democratic members.
The bill was introduced by Democratic Senator Rosalyn R. Dance of District 16, which includes Petersburg City and Hopewell City, as well as parts of Richmond City, Dinwiddie County, Chesterfield County and Prince George County.
The bill would have raised the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 per hour effective July 1, 2019, with the wage boosted to $13 on July 1, 2020, and $15 on July 1, 2021, unless there were changes to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act requiring higher minimum wage.
Local Congressman Bobby Scott and top Democrats in Washington are hoping to amend the Fair Labor Standards Act. The “Raise the Wage” Act hopes to gradually increase the federal requirement to $15 by 2024.
Virginia’s neighbor state of Maryland just raised its minimum wage to $10.10 this past summer and lawmakers there are trying to increase it to $15 in the coming years. North Carolina also only requires employers to pay to the federal minimum of $7.25