The Nevada Assembly today passed a bill raising the minimum wage $1 an hour to $6.15.
The vote was 33-8 with fully half the Republicans joining the Democrats in supporting the legislation.
Assemblywoman Chris Giunchigliani, D-Las Vegas, said AB87 is designed to implement immediately the initiative petition approved by more than 68 percent of Nevada voters in the November elections. She said there is no reason why lawmakers should make minimum-wage earners wait another two years for another vote of the people.
"No full-time workers should live in poverty in the state of Nevada," she said. "That is what this legislation is to rectify."
But Minority Leader Lynn Hettrick R-Gardnerville, said he has to oppose the bill not because of the $1 an hour increase but because of the indexing contained in the legislation. That portion of the bill would provide automatic increases in the minimum wage in the future based on increases in the cost of living index.
But Giunchigliani said the indexing feature would only cause minimal increases because of safeguards built into the plan. She said this past year's 2.6 percent CPI increase, for example, would have caused an increase in the minimum wage of only about 18 cents.
The bill goes to the Senate for consideration.
Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.