OAK HILL – West Virginia could soon see a boost to the minimum wage. But it's not all good news for folks running the cities.
The governor is expected to sign a bill into law that will raise minimum wage in the Mountain State from the current $7.25 an hour to $8.00 an hour on January 1, 2015, and then to $8.75 in 2016.
“I think it's wonderful, because people just don't make enough money to make ends meet,” says Oak Hill native Karen Sizemore.
“It's just great and I think he's doing a great job and I’m really pleased with the things he brings up and they usually get passed too.”
But money doesn't always buy happiness.
Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass says it’s a problem for government officials.
“It takes away a very important exemption for cities, for fire department and police departments.”
Hannabass explains how it impact overtime even for a normal 40-hour week, “Any time over 8 hours in one day has to be paid at overtime pay.”
The controversy surrounding the minimum wage bill isn't about putting money into people's hands. Most people are in favor of that.
The issues arise in the language of the bill which takes away that exemption for overtime pay of certain employees like firefighters and police officers.
“Even though you worked 40 hours you would be getting overtime pay and that's going cost the cities across the state of West Virginia millions of dollars,” says Hannabass.
He says the exemptions won't affect the city of Oak Hill currently, but he wants to have flexibility for the future in case police or fire moves to longer shifts.