GHRA wants independent study on minimum wage increase impacts - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GHRA wants independent study on minimum wage increase impacts

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Lawmakers met in session this morning moving a majority of the bills on session agenda to the voting file. One bill that wasn't discussed however was Vice Speaker BJ Cruz's controversial minimum wage measure. Bill 316 was substituted by Senator Rory Respicio's committee which has oversight on labor. The bill, would instead raise the minimum wage by one dollar to $8.25 per hour starting January 1 next year with a quarterly economic assessment on the impacts every quarter to be conducted by the University of Guam president or his designee. Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association president Mary Rhodes had requested for an independent economic impact study and does not believe the proposal provides that as several UOG economists had actually provided input on Cruz's proposal.

"I would like to see it still be held in committee but if anything, we've talked to them about possibly stretching that out, because if you were to stretch out a dollar for three years you're really looking at $0.33 which is a 4.5% increase and I think is way more reasonable for businesses to plan ahead for the next three years to give a 4.5% increase," she said.

Guam Chamber of Commerce president Peter Sgro meanwhile has refrained from commenting until he's received the consensus of his board. Vice Speaker Cruz says the substituted measure will be discussed Tuesday on session floor.

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