Vermont Passes Highest State Minimum Wage In The U.S.

| by Will Hagle

The minimum wage increases keep rolling. After Hawaii increased its minimum wage law from $7.25 to $10.10 a few weeks ago and Mitt Romney supported a federal wage increase to the same amount last week, Vermont has surpassed the $10.10 mark and passed the highest state minimum wage in the country.

The minimum wage in Vermont is set to rise from the already-high $8.73 to $10.50. The transition is scheduled to take place over the next four years, which would make Vermont the state with the highest minimum wage by 2018 if no other laws are passed. 

Seattle, of course, recently passed its own local ordinance that will raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, West Virginia, and Delaware all passed minimum wage increases this year, despite continued stagnation on the issue in Congress. 

“Vermont’s lawmakers deserve praise for leading the nation in guaranteeing a fair wage for workers in the street. While this bill is a major victory for Vermont’s lowest-paid workers, it’s also an important reminder for Congress of the pressing need to ensure that all Americans are paid a decent wage, particularly as new job growth remains concentrated in low-paying industries like fast-food and retail,” said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project, according to the VT Digger. 

According to ThinkProgress, Gov. Peter Shumlin was a vocal supporter of his state’s wage increase bill.

“I will be proud to sign it,” Shumlin said.