Raising Vermont's minimum wage to $15 an hour would inject roughly $250 million into Vermont's economy. Yep, you read that correctly: $250 million.
That preliminary finding from the Joint Fiscal Office in Vermont was just one of the exciting economic justice developments last week in New England.
In addition, Raise Up Massachusetts announced their petition drive to put ballot questions in support of a $15 an hour minimum wage and statewide paid family medical leave in front of voters in 2018.
Vermont Public Radio (VPR) reported that Vermont legislators will soon convene a Minimum Wage Summer Study Committee to examine the benefits and impacts of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
This study committee was charged with laying the groundwork to help the Vermont Senate live up to its promise to enact $15 an hour minimum wage legislation in 2018. This work includes addressing the concerns of businesses in the state and seeking a much-needed solution to the benefits cliff, a long-standing issue holding thousands of working families back from taking higher paying jobs or working more hours for fear of facing a net income loss from drops in federal and state subsidies such as Childcare Financial Assistance.
The Raise Up Vermont campaign continues to build support for better standards for workers in our state and this summer and fall we need to keep up the heat to win $15 and hour and win Paid Family Leave for thousands of families in 2018.
With more than 60,000 Vermonters living below the federal poverty line, it is time for us to take serious action to address poverty and rising inequality in our state.
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and enacting a statewide Paid Family & Medical Leave program would benefit tens of thousands of low-wage workers, boost local economic growth, and improve the health of our families and communities.
Thank you for helping us turn up the heat on these critical issues!