Raising Nevada’s minimum wage to $12 an hour considered | NevadaAppeal.com

Raising Nevada’s minimum wage to $12 an hour considered

Dozens of people in both Northern and Southern Nevada turned out Wednesday to support legislation that would increase Nevada’s minimum wage to $12 an hour over the coming four years.

Speaker Jason Frierson, D-Las Vegas, said the minimum wage should be set at an amount a worker would need to support a family of four. He said Nevada’s current minimum wage — $7.25 for businesses that offer health insurance and $8.25 for those that don’t — doesn’t come anywhere near that amount. He said a recent study put that amount at more than $11 an hour in both Clark and Washoe counties.

Frierson said some 30 percent of Nevada workers earn less than $12 an hour.

“I don’t believe this is a partisan issue,” said Frierson. “These hard working families are from both sides of the aisle.”

He added that, nationwide, some 60 percent of small business owners support a $12 an hour minimum wage by 2020.

The bill would raise the minimum wage 75 cents an hour the first year and a dollar an hour in each of the next three years.

Annette Magnus of Battle Born Progress said people across the country overwhelmingly support higher minimum wages. She said her nonprofit group provides a minimum of $15 an hour to all seven employees.

“If I can do it as a nonprofit, so can everyone else,” she said.

Frierson said he’s willing to work with business and anyone else interested in the bill to ensure there are no unintended consequences.

AB456 is substantially the same bill that was passed by the 2017 Legislature but vetoed by then-Gov. Brian Sandoval.