By Johnnie Rosario
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero today signed into law a measure by Sen. Jim Moylan that pushes back the implementation date of the minimum wage increase from the current $8.75 an hour, to $9.25 an hour. The original date of the increase to $9.25 an hour was March 1, 2021; the last Legislature decided that in 2019, prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
The new date of implementation is September 1, 2021.
"This delay will give employers an opportunity to adjust in the wake of the pandemic's effects and still fulfill the ultimate goal of moving our wages toward a level sufficient to provide a decent quality of life," Ms. Leon Guerrero wrote in her note to the Legislature advising senators she had signed Moylan's bill into Public Law 24-36.
Employers were able to breathe a first sigh of relief this morning, when news from Washington, D.C. was carried by global wires that the Biden Administration's goal of a gradual minimum wage increase to $15 an hour would not be included in the latest federal stimulus relief package. According to several news sources, the Senate's non-partisan parliamentarian said the minimum wage proposal, which was set to be included in the version of the stimulus package about to pass the U.S. House of Representatives, cannot be included in the Senate version.
You may read the governor's message on P.L. 24-36 below: