Legislation Tackles Much-Needed Minimum Wage Increase

Tuesday, January 16th, 2024

A proposal to incrementally increase the state’s minimum wage, from $12 to $15 hourly advanced through a Senate committee this week.

The legislation, carried by Sen. Louise Lucas of Portsmouth, may fare well in both chambers, as Democrats now control both the Senate and House of Delegates.

What it costs to live in Virginia

“Economic justice and concern for low-wage workers and their families should lead legislators to vote yes for an increased minimum wage,” said Jay Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center Director.

In Virginia, the average cost of living for a family of four is $70,788 according to 2020 ALICE data, from United for Change.  The study measures the economic well-being of not just those with income below the federal poverty level, but also those above that standard who still don’t earn enough to afford household necessities such as rent, transportation, utilities, childcare and food.

For a family of four the average cost of living is $70,788, which is two times higher than the Federal Poverty Level.  Average household costs for a single adult are substantially higher.

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