The West Virginia Senate has passed a bill to raise the minimum wage by $1.50 over three years.
Under the bill passed Friday, the wage would increase from $7.25 to $7.50 an hour in January 2015, to $8 in January 2016, and to $8.75 in January 2017. Originally the House approved a wage increase of 75 cents each year for two years.
The Senate Finance Committee extended the phase-in for the increase Wednesday. At that time, Sen. John Unger expressed concern that minimum wage workers will lose out on $1,040 in potential earnings in 2015 and an additional $520 in 2016.
The House must now agree to the Senate changes before the bill goes to the governor.