Don’t Sign Flawed Minimum Wage Bill

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is being urged by liberal groups to sign a bill he has good reason to believe was not what West Virginia legislators intended.

As we reported last week, a bill to increase the state-required minimum wage was approved overwhelmingly by both the state Senate and House of Delegates. No doubt most lawmakers believed it would increase pay for Mountain State residents covered by existing minimum wage laws.

But wording of the bill may have been flawed. Tomblin and lawmakers have been told it would expand minimum wage coverage dramatically.

Tomblin still should sign it, the West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy demanded this week. “If there are any small technical issues … they could easilly be worked out during the legislative rules process,” the center insists.

They also could be worked out later this year in a special session of the Legislature. If the bill is as flawed as critics say, Tomblin should veto it and seek necessary corrections.