BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Bill aimed at raising minimum wage in Utah put on hold

Feb 26, 2021, 10:35 AM
bail reform Utah 2021 minimum wage...
A bid to raise minimum wage in Utah is being put on hold. (PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)
(PHOTO: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A bid to raise the minimum wage in Utah is being put on hold. HB284 is sponsored by Rep. Clare Collard, D-Magna. She argues Utah’s minimum wage, which is currently set at $7.25, isn’t sufficient for workers. 

Discussion on minimum wage continues… bill on hold 

“I have people in my district who are working two and three jobs to keep a roof over their head,” she explains. “I have families who are working and students in high school who are also working full time to help maintain a lifestyle. I would urge you to consider raising the minimum wage.”

Collard went on to note that roughly 19,000 workers in Utah currently make minimum wage.

The bill largely reflects a federal effort to raise minimum wage.

Specifically, her plan is to raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 this year, then gradually increase the figure to $15 by the year 2026.

Arguing against the pay hike

The main resistance to the bill came from individuals who believe the free market should dictate when employers raise their wages.

One individual speaking in opposition to the bill was Jordan Hess, CEO of the St. George Chamber of Commerce.

“We don’t feel that the government should set those wages,” he explains. “The free market economy that our country has been built on, although imperfect, has raised more people out of poverty than any other economic system in the history of the world.”

House Minority Leader Brian King, D-Salt Lake City, spoke in support of the measure.

“One thing that’s inarguable is that it puts more money in the pockets of working people,” he said. “I think that’s what we need to do is we need to address the real-life, everyday demands of individuals who are trying to make ends meet.”

As it turns out, the defense articulated by King wasn’t enough to gather support for the bill. The House Business and Labor Committee tabled the measure on a 10-3 vote, which went along party lines.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

File**People walk past the entrance to a Bed Bath & Beyond retail store along Sixth Avenue in N...
Paul R. La Monica and Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Bed Bath & Beyond says it can no longer pay its debts

The end could be near for struggling retailer Bed Bath & Beyond, as it warned in a regulatory filing Thursday that it received a notice of default from its lender, JPMorgan Chase.
1 day ago
With 24 other states on board, the Utah Attorney General announced on Friday a lawsuit against a De...
Simone Seikaly

Utah leading a lawsuit against new ESG rule affecting 401(k) plans

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes said the states in the lawsuit are concerned about the federal government's promotion of ESG investing.
1 day ago
savings system right on the money...
Mark Jones

Economists are worried of a recession in 2023, financial expert weighs in

Many economists are fearing a recession in 2023 despite the U.S. economy ending last year better than expected.
2 days ago
A new service called Cottonwood Connect could address parking problems at the ski resorts in Big an...
Kate Davis and Simone Seikaly

Cottonwood Connect offers a new way to get up Cottonwood Canyons

The goal is to fill gaps left when UTA limited ski bus service. The shuttle will run Thursday through Sunday through mid-April.
2 days ago
The U.S. economy expanded at a 2.9% annual pace from October through December, ending 2022 with mom...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US economy slowed but still grew at 2.9% rate last quarter

Most economists think the economy will slow further in the current quarter and slide into at least a mild recession by midyear.
2 days ago
About 87% of Tuesday's US flight cancellations are Southwest, according to flight tracking website ...
Pete Muntean and Greg Wallace, CNN

US Transportation Dept. investigating Southwest holiday travel meltdown

The US Transportation Department said it is in the early stages of an investigation into the Southwest Airlines holiday travel meltdown in December.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Bill aimed at raising minimum wage in Utah put on hold