Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a minimum wage bill into law Monday morning that will make Vermont's standard one of the most generous in the nation when it takes full effect in 2018.
Shumlin addressed supporters and signed H.522, as legislators, supporters and business owners looked on at a ceremony outside the Red Hen Baking Co. in Middlesex.
The new law, which was passed by the House last session, will raise the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2018, and increase the wage for tipped employees to half of that. The increases will be phased in over four years; $9.15 on Jan. 1; $9.60 in 2016; $10 in 2017 and $10.50 by 2018. Vermont currently has the third-highest minimum wage in the country at $8.73 and the highest in New England. The federal minimum is $7.25 an hour.
Shumlin applauded lawmakers, highlighting their commitment to "working together in a bipartisan fashion to say to Vermonters, 'you worked hard, we believe you should get a fair wage at the end of the day.'"
The Vermont Legislature considered six minimum wage formulas before settling on the version signed Monday.