NC could soon be first state to pay state employees $15 minimum wage

NC could soon be first state to pay state employees $15 minimum wage
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NORTH CAROLINA (WBTV) - North Carolina could soon be the first state to pay state employees a $15 minimum wage.

According to the State Employee Association of North Carolina, the legislature approved a budget that would make NC the first state to pay a $15 an hour  minimum wage to state employees, beginning in July. The association says the budget would apply to all permanent employees in state agencies and universities.

The minimum state salary increased to $31,200, the SEANC reported.

SEANC says all state employees would also receive a two percent pay raise and five days of bonus leave.

Correctional personnel will also receive a four percent raise and a doubling of their line-of-duty death benefit to $100,000, according to the SEANC.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed the bill but the legislature voted to override his veto.

The North Carolina Senate voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto by a vote of 34-13, and the state House of Representatives followed suit with a 73-44 vote to pass the $23.9 billion spending plan into law, according to the News and Observer.

The News and Observer reported that Cooper vetoed the budget because he said it didn't do enough for public education and the environment. Republicans then defended the budget they passed, noting that it contained a 6.5 percent average pay raise for teachers and raises for other state employees, according to the News and Observer.

"It raises the minimum state salary for full-time state employees to $15 an hour," Cary Republican Rep. Nelson Dollar, one of the top budget writers, said Tuesday. "That's huge. We're the largest employer in the state."

The budget takes effect July 1.

You can find a graphic of the state budget here.

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