HB 1371 would bar localities from mandating more generous wages, benefits

RICHMOND — This afternoon, the Senate Committee on Local Government voted along party lines to advance HB 1371, which would bar localities from requiring employers to offer pay or benefits above the minimum levels laid out in state and federal law.
Said Sen. Dave Marsden (D - Fairfax), “Local governments are in the best position to determine what local government contractors should pay their employees to keep local economies strong.”
Said Sen. Barbara Favola (D - Arlington), “Local governments are best able to determine the requirements of contractors competing to do business within their jurisdictions. There is no problem here to solve. The three jurisdictions that have wage requirements in certain RFPs have heard no complaints from prospective contractors. When workers are fairly paid, there is less turnover, and the quality of the work product is higher.”
Representatives from the Virginia AFL-CIO, the Laborers International Union, and the City of Alexandria testified against the bill.

A separate panel — the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology — had earlier this week advanced two related measures (HB 145 and HB 246), also along party lines.
The Senate has rejected numerous bills from Democratic senators to raise the state minimum wage, currently $7.25. Both Sen. Marsden and Sen. Favola carried such bills this year.

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