The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

April 2, 2014

Tomblin signs minimum wage increase

CHARLESTON — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed House Bill 4283, the minimum wage bill, into law on Tuesday.

The bill will raise the minimum wage in the state to $7.25 per hour in 2015 and $8.75 per hour in 2016.

However, some experts have said the bill needs to be re-worked in regard to some overtime provisions.

Tomblin, after speaking with his leadership team, said he will call for a special session to begin May 19 to address those issues, which he also has with the bill.

“I’m aware there may be some unintended consequences relating to overtime compensation and maximum hours worked, which give me great pause,” Tomblin said in a press release Tuesday evening. “I will call the Legislature into extraordinary session during the May interims, beginning May 19, 2014, to address the issues of great concern to businesses large and small – including the fiscal challenges expected to affect our local governments.

“President Kessler and Speaker Miley both committed to working with me to achieve this ultimate goal.”

Tomblin said he ultimately signed the bill because he believes it is a “positive step toward helping more than 100,000 hardworking West Virginians earn a fair wage – including mothers, fathers, working adults, as well as teens working their first jobs.”

Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, said he believes the minor clarifications to the bill can be worked out in a brief special session before the regular monthly interim committee meetings.

“Signing this piece of legislation is not only the right thing to do for the state’s workers; it will also help the state’s economy,” Kessler said. “This bill puts more money in the pockets of hardworking West Virginians, who in turn spend their money locally.”

Speaker of the House, Tim Miley, D-Harrison, reiterated those comments.

“To the extent that enactment of this bill causes concern to local governments, agencies and interests from the private sector, the House of Delegates stands willing to continue to work with Gov. Tomblin and the Senate to ensure that the increased minimum wage has no adverse impact on the overtime laws that employers in the state are accustomed to following.”

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