Carson City – A bit of hope for the 12,000 Nevadans who scrape by on minimum wage – as the Speaker of the State Assembly, Jason Frierson (D-Las Vegas), presented Assembly Bill 456 to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour to the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor. The increase in base wage would be phased in over four years.
Hear an audio report from Suzanne Potter.
Former Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed a similar bill 2 years ago. But this bill stands a chance now that Democrats control both houses of the Legislature and have the support of Gov. Steve Sisolak.
Brandon Martin goes to school and makes just over minimum wage driving an ambulance for American Medical Response. He says it’s almost impossible to support his wife and three kids on so little money.
“It’s a struggle when I’m trying to get funds together in order to get food,” says Martin. “It’s not enough to provide for a family of five. It’s hard. It’s very hard.”
Martin testified at a hearing Wednesday before the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor.
In Nevada 883,000 people get paid by the hour and likely would see a raise if the minimum wage goes up. Opponents say such a move would hurt business and, by extension, could cost jobs.
Denise Lopez, state director for Faith in Action Nevada, argues that raising the minimum wage actually would boost local economies as families raise their standard of living.
“The reality is that we live in a consumer-driven economy,” says Lopez. “The more money people have in their pockets, the more likely they are to go spend money. So I think we are going to be supporting businesses if we can get this bill passed.”
The national minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour.