Minimum wage hike bill clears committee, may be taken up in next session

Sen. Joe S. San Agustin (PNC file photo)

The Guam Legislature’s labor committee has favorably reported out Sen. Joe S. San Agustin’s measure to raise the minimum wage.

The measure, introduced as Bill No. 136-35 (COR), proposes to incrementally raise Guam’s minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.25 over two years.

If passed into law, the first 50-cent increase will take effect in March of 2020 with a second and final 50-cent increase taking effect in March of 2021.

“Guam’s workers need a raise and I am proud that the Committee on Labor could prepare this bill for the floor,” said Senator Régine Biscoe Lee in a release. “Every Democrat senator stood with Senator San Agustin and co-sponsored this bill, but I know that we must do more to help working people get ahead.”

The senator cited research conducted after Guam increased its minimum wage to $8.25 in 2015, which showed that 65% of surveyed businesses did not reduce employee hours to compensate for the increased pay, and 75% of the businesses did not reduce their number of employees.

Now that the required committee report has been filed, the senator said the minimum wage bill can be considered at the next available legislative session.