Minimum wage bill debate continues - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Minimum wage bill debate continues

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The debate on Bill 316 wages on. The legislation introduced by Vice Speaker BJ Cruz proposes raising the minimum wage by $0.95 each year for the next three at which time it would cap off at $10.10 in 2017. Organizations like the Guam chapter of the National Association of Social Workers testified in strong support of the legislation. In her written testimony Guam chapter president Amy Sue Borja Santos wrote “we social workers witness every day how living conditions of working poor people become breeding grounds for all sorts of social ills - such as substance abuse, family violence and other crimes.  It is our view that the adjustment of the minimum wage to the economic realities of Guam is long overdue. The Guam Bankers Association meanwhile also submitted written testimony but in opposition to the legislation.  GBA president Mark Fish wrote banking industry was not consulted in any official capacity for its opinions or concerns.

Fish wrote proponents of the bill have commented that the impact of this substantial increase in minimum wage - nearly 40% - will be nominal. They claim that it will not result in an increase in island cost of living, increase prices of goods and services, loss of jobs and or financial damage to small businesses that employ lower skilled labor. The GBA believes these comments to be simply disingenuous.

Meanwhile in the nation’s capitol a democratic bill to raise the federal minimum wage failed in the Senate today.
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