HJ72: Minimum wage; effects of increasing the in the Commonwealth.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 72

Offered January 13, 2016
Prefiled January 6, 2016
Requesting the Virginia Employment Commission to study the effects of increasing the minimum wage in the Commonwealth. Report.
Patron-- Krizek

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, numerous bills to increase the minimum wage that the Commonwealth's employers are required to pay to their employees have been introduced in recent sessions of the General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, proposals have been made to raise the minimum wage from its current federally mandated level of $7.25 per hour, which has not been increased in six years, to $10.10 per hour, $15.00 per hour, and other levels, and to phase in increases over a variety of number of years; and

WHEREAS, it has been suggested that a raise in the minimum wage should apply only to employers of a certain size in order to mitigate the effects of the raise on small businesses; and

WHEREAS, it has further been suggested that a raise in the minimum wage should apply only to employees of a certain age in order to focus the benefits of the raise on adult employees who are trying to support a family; and

WHEREAS, 29 states and the District of Columbia have required employers to pay wages above the federal minimum wage; and

WHEREAS, there has been a great deal of debate regarding the effects of increasing a state's minimum wage on levels of employment, poverty, and inflation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Virginia Employment Commission be requested to study the effects of increasing the minimum wage in the Commonwealth.

In conducting its study, the Virginia Employment Commission (the VEC) shall analyze the economic effects in the Commonwealth of a variety of minimum wage increase measures that have been proposed by advocates in the General Assembly, other states, and public policy forums, including but not limited to measures that would increase the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, $15.00 per hour, or other levels; limit such increases to employers of a certain size; or limit such increases to employees of a certain age. The economic effects to be examined by the VEC shall include, but not be limited to, employment levels, household income, poverty rates, retail inflation, business profitability, income inequality, and economic growth.

All agencies of the Commonwealth shall provide assistance to the Virginia Employment Commission for this study, upon request.

The Virginia Employment Commission shall complete its meetings by November 30, 2016, and shall submit to the Governor and the General Assembly an executive summary and a report of its findings and recommendations for publication as a House or Senate document. The executive summary and report shall be submitted as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports no later than the first day of the 2017 Regular Session of the General Assembly and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.