MONTPELIER – Minimum-wage workers will see an increase in their earnings on Friday. On Jan. 1, the state hourly minimum wage will rise 45 cents to $9.60 an hour, part of a series of incremental steps that will raise the wage to $10.50 in 2018. In 2014, lawmakers passed legislation to raise the state minimum wage over a four-year period. At the time, the state minimum wage was $8.73 an hour. Continue Reading →
MONTPELIER — About 100 single payer advocates, gathered in the State House Thursday afternoon to demand forward movement on a universal, publicly financed health care system, disrupted some ceremonial proceedings before a smaller group staging a State House sit-in were removed by police at 8 p.m.
The Vermont Workers Center organized demonstrations Thursday afternoon that took place in the House chamber, outside the entrance to the chamber and in hallways throughout the State House while Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin was being sworn in and delivering his inaugural address. “Ain’t no way we’re backing down, we’re rising up, the time is now,” they chanted at one point. The protesters who staged the sit-in in the well of the House into the evening said their intention was to extract a commitment from Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith for a public hearing on a public financing plan and report prepared by the Shumlin administration. No such commitment was made. Smith said Thursday afternoon that hearings will take place in the House Health Care and House Ways and Means Committees, but did not promise a public hearing. Continue Reading →