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.

Today’s Top Stories


direct sales Utah...
Alejandro Lucero

Direct selling and the big impact it has on the Utah economy

Over the decades, Utah has developed into a hub for direct selling companies that make billions in international sales.
1 day ago
Old Utah State prison...
Lindsay Aerts

Cox says chapel at old Utah State Prison site will remain

The chapel at the site of the old Utah State Prison will not be torn down, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said Monday as he and former Gov. Gary Herbert walked through the facility.
3 days ago
Kraft Heinz is issuing a voluntary recall of 5,000 plus Capri Sun products after they were found to...
Devin Oldroyd

Some Capri Sun products being recalled by Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz is issuing a voluntary recall of 5,000 plus Capri Sun products after they were found to be contaminated with a cleaning solution.
3 days ago
Recall on more than two million Mamaroo and RockaRoo infant swings and rockers...
Alejandro Lucero

4moms infant swings and rockers recalled over strangulation danger

A recall of more than 2 million MamaRoo infant swings and RockaRoo infant rockers has been issued due to a fatal infant strangulation.
3 days ago
Intermountain Healthcare...
Mark Jones

CEO and President of Intermountain Healthcare announces resignation

Intermountain Healthcare will soon be looking for a new CEO and President. Current, CEO and President Dr. Marc Harrison announced Thursday he will resign from the position later this year.
7 days ago
FILE - A hiring sign is displayed at a restaurant in Schaumburg, Ill., Friday, April 1, 2022.  More...
PAUL WISEMAN AP Economics Writer

US unemployment claims rise by 14,000 to 262,000

The four-week average for claims, which smooths out weekly ups and downs, rose by 4,500 to 252,000, also the highest since November.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Bill aimed at raising minimum wage in Utah put on hold