Gil White, West Virginia state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, today urged Governor Tomblin to veto HB 4283, which would raise the state minimum wage and force more businesses to comply with costly new overtime requirements:
"Our members understand the enormous political pressure on Governor Tomblin to raise the state minimum wage, but West Virginia's small businesses believe doing so would be a costly mistake.
"The bottom line is that raising the minimum wage would inevitably lead to fewer jobs and almost certainly would hurt the people the bill is supposed to help.
"The fact of that matter is that employers, especially small, family-run businesses, don't have unlimited resources. If the government increases the cost of labor and forces every business with six or more employees to comply with costly new overtime requirements, then businesses won't have any choice but to hire fewer workers.
"What's more, the double-whammy of raising the minimum wage and imposing costly new overtime pay rules on small businesses would discourage employers from hiring people with few skills and no experience—the very people supporters of the bill say they're trying to help. Because they can't hire as many workers, they'll have to hire people with a experience and a proven track record, people they know will get the job done.
"West Virginia continues to struggle economically. We can't afford such a massive wage increase right now. HB 4283 is only going to hold us down. Despite what the bill's supporters may believe, it's not going to help pick us up."
NFIB/West Virginia is the state's largest small-business association, with 1,600 dues-paying members representing a cross section of the state's economy.PHOTO: O Palsson/Wikimedia Commons