Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today signed HB 4283, a bill raising the state minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $8 on Jan. 1 and then to $8.75 in 2016.
The measure also prevents 80 percent of West Virginia employers from using federal overtime exemptions--a change that will prove costly to many small businesses.
NFIB/West Virginia had joined other organizations in asking the governor to veto the bill.
In a statement, Governor Tomblin said raising the state minimum wage "is a positive step toward helping more than 100,000 hardworking West Virginians earn a fair wage-including mothers, fathers, working adults, as well as teens working their first jobs."
However, he said he was aware "there may be some unintended consequences relating to overtime compensation and maximum hours worked, which give me great pause."
Tomblin said he would call a special session of the Legislature, beginning May 19, "to address the issues of great concern to businesses large and small-including the fiscal challenges expected to affect our local governments."
NFIB/West Virginia will follow this process closely and fight to ensure that the final bill is fair to small business.
PHOTO: O Palsson/Wikimedia Commons