Sandoval axes minimum wage proposal in batch of vetoes
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval on Thursday vetoed a bid to raise minimum wages for the first time in his seven-year tenure.
Democratic lawmakers passed backup measures this session that would ask voters to, among other things, raise the wage floor. The earliest that question could get on ballots would be in 2020 and the earliest any initiative petitions could get a vote would be as Sandoval exits the Governor’s Mansion in 2018.
Sandoval said in a veto message a wage hike would, at this point in time, threaten to undermine Nevada’s economic recovery.
Nevada is currently a national leader in job growth, which Sandoval attributed to a private-sector business community that has “overcome a turbulent and dramatic downturn through unrelenting persistence, innovation and optimism.”
Mandating employers pay their workers more would punish those economic drivers, especially small businesses, Sandoval said.
The measure he axed, Senate Bill 106, would have increased minimum wages to $11 an hour for workers insured through their employers and $12 an hour for those not offered health insurance.
Most employers must currently pay a minimum $7.25 an hour if they provide a health insurance option or $8.25 an hour if they don’t.
The bill would have increased the minimums 75 cents annually through 2022.
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