This legislative session, the General Assembly took a significant step forward by passing HB 395, which would provide much needed relief for Virginia workers by raising the state’s minimum wage, beginning January 1, 2021. On Saturday, April 11, Governor Northam chose to amend this legislation by delaying the increase from January 1, 2021 to May 1, 2021.
While New Virginia Majority supports this modest and long overdue raise for working families, we are deeply disappointed in Governor Northam’s actions. His actions do not put workers first. In fact, it delays low-wage workers the right to a living wage; many of the same workers who are considered essential during the Covid-19 pandemic. This four-month delay forces workers to struggle for an additional four months, all while facing an uncertain economy.
This moment of crisis in our commonwealth has further highlighted that low-wage workers are critical to maintaining the health and well-being of families across Virginia, and their contributions to the economy and their local communities should be valued and compensated without any additional delay.
New Virginia Majority will continue to fight for working-class families and make progress towards an economy that works for all of us.