Minimum wage bill may be in next session

74
Under the bill, the first 50-cent increase in minimum wage will take effect in March of 2020 with a second and final 50-cent increase taking effect in March 2021.

The minimum wage bill will possibly be on the next session agenda.

According to Senator Regine Biscoe Lee, the Guam Legislature’s Committee on Labor favorably reported out Senator Joe San Agustin’s Bill 136-35 to raise the minimum wage.

The measure, also co-sponsored by Senator Lee, seeks to incrementally raise Guam’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 over two years. The first 50-cent increase will take effect in March of 2020 with a second and final 50-cent increase taking effect in March 2021.

Lee says having this bill prepared for the session floor is great timing coming off the heels of the Labor Day celebration. Lee says this is an opportunity to recognize the hard work of the working people in the community and give them a bump in their pay.

“We understand that working people and our business community are both struggling. So this is our opportunity to meet the needs of our wage earners, those who work very, very hard, many multiple jobs and really work to support our working families, and this is an opportunity for us to do so,” Lee said.

According to research conducted after Guam increased its minimum wage to $8.25 in 2015, 65% of surveyed businesses did not reduce employee hours to compensate for the increased pay. Additionally, 75% of the businesses did not reduce their number of employees.

Lee says that session will most likely be at the end of the month.

##