Bill raising minimum wage in Nevada vetoed by Gov. Sandoval


    No changes to Nevada minimum wage this year. (MGN Online)

    Gov. Brian Sandoval has vetoed a bill that would have eventually raised Nevada's minimum wage to as high as $12 an hour for some workers.

    Sandoval's office announced Thursday that the governor had signed more than 70 bills into law, but also vetoed seven, including Senate Bill 106.

    In Nevada, most employers must pay a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour if they offer health insurance or $8.25 an hour without that benefit.

    SB 106 would have incrementally raised the minimum wage by 75 cents annually through 2022, reaching $11 an hour for those with insurance and $12 an hour for those without insurance.

    Sandoval was considering a minimum wage increase before the legislative session ended. He told reporters last month that he wanted legislators to rethink Nevada's overtime laws if the state is going to raise wages, according to a report from The Associated Press.

    In his veto letter, Sandoval called the objective of the bill "commendable," but said the wage increase would result in fewer available jobs and higher costs for goods and services.

    "Such negative consequences threaten to undermine Nevada's economic recovery by making it harder for employers to fill positions and making it more difficult for entry-level workers to access jobs in which they can acquire skills for advancement," the governor wrote.

    The Nevada Democratic Party called the veto "a crushing disappointment for Nevada workers" who draw poverty-level wages.

    "Nevada’s working families deserved this reasonable minimum wage increase," party chair William McCurdy II said in a statement. "Raising the minimum wage would boost paychecks, help employers retain talented employees and strengthen our economy."

    Democratic lawmakers passed an alternate measure this session that, if passed again in the 2019 session, would ask voters in 2020 to set one minimum wage. It would hit $14 an hour in 2026.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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