Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill on Tuesday that would have increased the state’s minimum wage. The Republican governor cited concerns over job loss, employee hours and costs of goods and services in his veto message.
“It’s critical to recognize that we share the goal of Vermonters making more money. I also believe Vermonters should keep more of what they earn, which is why I can’t support policies that increase the costs of living,” said Scott in a statement.
The current minimum wage in Vermont is $10.96. The vetoed bill would have increased the minimum wage to $11.75 in 2021 and $12.55 in 2022.
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“Despite S.23’s good intentions, the reality is there are too many unintended consequences and we cannot grow the economy or make Vermont more affordable by arbitrarily forcing wage increases. I believe this legislation would end up hurting the very people it aims to help,” Scott added.
Vermont's minimum wage is less than many of its neighboring states. Minimum wage in Massachusetts is $12.75 and $11 on Maine. New Hampshire continues to abide by the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Vermont’s minimum wage increased $0.18 to $10.96 on Jan. 1. According to the Vermont Department of Labor, the increase was calculated from the state statute based off of inflation.