Raise Up: WV Analysts Say Latest Minimum Wage Increase Too New to Gauge
The State Journal - Jason Barrett proved himself as a small businessman, running pizzerias long before his two-year stint as an elected official. Read
That experience gave him a perspective other delegates heavily leaned on as they crafted a bill that became law during the 2014 legislative session, increasing wages for thousands of West Virginians.
Barrett was a member of the House of Delegates from 2012-2014, and was the lead sponsor of HB 4283, which increased the minimum wage in West Virginia by 75 cents to $8 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The bill also boosted the minimum wage another 75 cents to $8.75, which became effective Jan. 1, 2016.
Barrett owns three restaurants in the Eastern Panhandle and surrounding area — two in the Mountain State and one in Virginia — and pays his employees at Anthony's Pizza more than the state and federal minimum wage, because he says he wants to put his money where his mouth is.
"It's my belief that if someone is going to work for somebody for 40 hours a week, they should not live in poverty," Barrett said. "This was a step to help pull those out of poverty.