Photo Courtesy: USA Today

$12 Minimum Wage Bill Re-Introduced In Nevada Assembly

Assembly Bill 4861 To Be Phased In Over Four Year Period

April 11, 2019 - 1:34 pm

CARSON CITY, NV (KXNT) - Assembly Speaker Fierson has introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage, a major priority for Democrats since they took control of the legislative and executive branches of state government. 

A bit of hope for the 12-thousand Nevadans who scrape by on minimum wage. As the Speaker of the State Assembly, Jason Frierson (D-Las Vegas), introduced Assembly Bill 4861 to raise the minimum wage to twelve dollars an hour, to be phased in over four years. Former Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed a similar bill two years ago. But this bill stands a chance now that Democrats control both houses of the Legislature and have the support of Governor Steve Sisolak. Brandon Martin goes to school and makes just over minimum wage working for an ambulance company. He said it's almost impossible to support his wife and three children on so little money.

"It's a struggle when I'm trying to get funds together in order to get food," said Martin. "It's not enough to provide for a family of five. It's hard. It's very hard," said Martin.

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, argued 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," said 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 passed," she added.

The national minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour.