Governor McAuliffe has vetoed HB 1371, Delegate Jackson Miller’s (R-50th) bill that would have prohibited Virginia localities from requiring contractors that perform services for the locality to provide their employees “with a wage or employment benefit that exceeds the requirements of state or federal law.”
As the Governor’s statement explains, [a] number of localities have enacted wage policies designed to allow the employees of contractors performing services for those localities to generate enough income to allow them to live and raise a family in the area. Companies not inclined to participate at these wage levels need not contract with the localities. House Bill 1371 would undermine these laudable policies to no apparent advantage.
This legislation attempts to restrict wage growth and impedes future labor agreements. Virginia’s efforts should be focused on increasing wages, which will improve the lives of our families and aid our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, rather than placing artificial restrictions on their future growth.
HB 1371 passed in the House of Delegates (65-34) and the Virginia Senate (21-19) on strictly partisan votes. Because the Republican majorities in both houses are inadequate to override the Governor’s veto, the veto will likely be sustained.
It’s embarrassing to be represented by a state Delegate who seeks to prevent the people doing work for our localities from being paid a living wage and receiving decent employee benefits. Jackson Miller does not represent the values of Manassas voters and must be retired in 2017!