Minimum wage bill: $12, effective 1/1/20 – until it wasn’t

state senate sign

Note: This story was updated to late Monday revisions to the bill.

In the final hours of a bill introduction deadline Monday, lawmakers dropped nearly 150 bills, which included the long-awaited legislation to raise Nevada’s minimum wage.

Assembly Bill 456, sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor, called for increasing Nevada’s minimum wage to $12. If passed, it would have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2020.

But then later in the evening, the bill was revised. Now the bill raises the wage 75 cents annually until it reaches $12 if employers are not offered health insurance, and $11 if they are.

“I don’t believe $12 is a livable wage,” said Erika Washington, the executive director of Make it Work Nevada Monday evening before the bill had been revised. “When you think of the cost of rent increasing, in both Washoe and Clark County, and the cost of food increasing and how expensive it is to run the air conditioning in the desert.”

Washington added that she thinks with this increase, people will still be living below the poverty line and in need of government assistance.

In his State of the State address in January, Gov. Steve Sisolak acknowledged support for raising the minimum wage, but never specified by how much.

“Nevadans are making too little,” he said. “That needs to change and it needs to start by giving Nevadans a well-earned raise. It’s impossible for an individual, let alone a family, to live on $7.25 an hour.”

The current wage in Nevada is $7.25 for workers who have benefits and $8.25 without health benefits.

Nationally, all the Democratic representatives in congress support legislation to increase the wage to $15 by 2024. Progressive groups in Nevada have rallied for an increase through the Fight for $15 campaign.

“I don’t know why or how $15 disappeared,” Washington said. “It’s frustrating and disappointing.”

Other states have increased their wages. California, where the wage is already $12, is scheduled to rise a dollar a year until it reaches $15 in 2022, followed by annual increases based on the consumer price index (CPI). Arizona’s minimum wage is $11, but increases to $12 Jan. 1, 2020, and then rises annually based on cost of living increases.

Monday’s deadline for committee bills also saw a flurry of other bills introduced, including legislation to change the state constitution to let the governor appoint Supreme Court judges recommended by a judicial commission.

Bills were also introduced to convert traffic infractions from criminal offenses to civil, restore the right to vote for those convicted of certain felonies, and mandate that addiction treatment facilities report deaths.

Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Confused by the article. Are there no bills proposing an increase to the minimum wage? Is the 15.00 gone, bu the 12.00 still an option?

  2. how can anyone working in the USA like las vegas live with wags 7,75 in an hour

    he has to kill or steal to live the rent is high and is going up every year and the people don’t know where to live

    they will live in the streets the wags must me 15 we not dogs Mr trump haaa we are working in USA hhhhh

    we are dogs in USA because of some the government not looking after the people the do with the dogs only

  3. Minimum wage is not to live on it is for minors to obtain a job and build a resume while still in school. Once you are out of school and are an adult then they need to leave the minimum wage job and find a career.

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