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Minimum Wage Increase Could Impact Our Area
Written by Erin MacPherson
Last updated on April 03, 2014 @ 8:55AM
Created on April 02, 2014 @ 6:10PM

Governor Early Ray Tomblin has signed the bill to increase the minimum wage. That means, as of right now, starting in 2015 minimum wage will be $8 an hour and for 2016 it will be $8.75 an hour. There are some mixed feelings in the community about this.

"I think it's a good idea. I think it's been too low and people can't afford to live on what the minimum wage has been," said Rhonda Wilson, Harrison County Resident.

"I really don't agree with it. It's hard enough for employers to pay for workers comp and everything else once you up the wages the workers comp goes up, but I can see where people need more money. It's a double edged sword," said Preston County Resident.

After talking to Clarksburg City Officials the minimum wage increase could greatly impact our area and the small businesses in it.

"Any small business could feel the impact of the minimum wage increase. That may limit the number of people I could limit for the summer or during the holidays," said Cathy Goings, Clarksburg Mayor and Small Business owner.

But there's an even bigger issue here. "The problem is the bill lacks an exemption for firefighters and police personnel . So that's the majority of where the financial burden will lie and it could be as much as $250,000 fort he City of Clarksburg," said Goings.

City officials expressed their concerns to the governor's office as well as to the local speaker of the house.

"We feel confident that they will address these concerns and see that they do what's in the best interest of the community," said Goings.

Wednesday, Governor Tomblin shared those concerns. Senate President Jeff Kessler said the flawed clause regarding overtime exemption can be fixed with minor clarification prior to it's effective dates.

After all, we have quite sometime until 2015.

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