Rev. Linda Higgins from VICPP speaks at Raise the Wage Press Conference

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Lenace Edwards:
Roberta Oster:


Lawmakers and Advocates Demand Senate Fix a Bill that Would Force Working Women
to Wait over a Decade before Earning $15 Minimum Wage in Virginia 

Richmond, VA – Virginia lawmakers, low-wage workers and faith leaders are warning that working women will be hurt under the Senate’s version of the minimum wage bill.  During a press conference, members of the #RaisetheWage coalition highlighted how the Senate minimum wage proposal (SB 7 floor version) would mean many women would not get a minimum wage of $15 per hour until 2032 or later, leaving over 150,000 families trapped below the poverty line. The Senate’s current proposal would implement a regional minimum wage based on the median income of families in different regions. Many of those households are supported by single women and nearly 60% of all low-wage workers in Virginia are women.

“To work hard and not be paid a living wage adds to the tremendous burden that women already experience as underpaid workers, caretakers and mothers,” said Rev. Dr. Faith Harris, the Vice President of the Board of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. “SB7 would disproportionately hurt working women, especially women of color and we can’t allow this.”

“As a single mom, buying groceries for me and my two children has become a struggle. Every time I get to the supermarket, I get anxious because I don’t have enough money to feed my family,” said Rocio Diaz, CASA member and Prince William’s resident. “I clean apartments for a living, sometimes five apartments per day, and my salary has never been above $9/hour. If I earned more money, I could buy more food.”

On February 21, Delegate Jeion Ward’s bill, (HB395), was voted out of the Senate into conference after Senators replaced her bill language that would do away with exclusions of farm workers, youth, domestic, and piece workers with problematic language that would chart Virginia on a path of even greater inequality.

“This bill is not what voters want from a progressive majority in the legislature,” said Lenace Edwards, deputy political director of UNITE HERE. “We hope that as the bill moves to conference, legislative leaders will fight for a $15 minimum wage for ALL people across the Commonwealth.”

TCI Fact Sheet on Women & the Minimum Wage & VICPP Fact Sheet on Minimum Wage


The Raise the Wage Virginia includes CASAUNITE HERE Local 2532BJ SEIUSEIU Virginia 512Business for a Fair Minimum WageThe Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal AnalysisNew Virginia MajorityFor Our Future VirginiaProgress  VirginiaUFCW Local 400Virginia Interfaith Center for Public PolicyCare in ActionVirginia OrganizingLegal Aid Justice Center, and the National Women’s Law Center.



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The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy advocates economic, racial, social and environmental justice
in Virginia’s policies and practices through education, prayer, and action.
VICPP is a non-partisan coalition of more than 750 faith communities working for a more just society.