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New legislator's first bill focuses on minimum wage

Del. McClure was elected in November to represent a portion of Arlington
Adele McClure,

You always remember your first, be it a kiss, a car, two Little League triples in a single inning – or, if you’re a lawmaker, your very first piece of legislation.

And for new-in-2024 Del. Adele McClure (D-Arlington), House Bill (HB) 157 likely always will hold a special place in her heart.

That’s the first piece of legislation that was dropped into the hopper by McClure for the 2024 session. It focuses on eliminating exemptions from Virginia’s minimum-wage requirements for two groups: those employed as farm laborers and certain temporary foreign workers.

If enacted into the Code of Virginia, the changes would reduce from 16 to 14 the categories of workers who can be paid less than minimum wage. Still remaining would be a diverse grouping that ranges from traveling salespeople to golf caddies to certain babysitters to prisoners to summer-camp employees. In addition, state law allows any legal worker under age 16 to be paid less than the minimum wage.

McClure was unopposed on Nov. 7 for election to a House of Delegates district that includes much of the easternmost and central areas of Arlington. She joins a five-member county delegation that includes re-elected incumbent Sens. Adam Ebbin and Barbara Favola and Dels. Patrick Hope and Alfonso Lopez.

All legislators have until Jan. 12 to have all their proposed pieces of legislation introduced. During a work session between the Arlington County Board and the county’s legislative delegation, McClure said she planned to keep her bills limited and focused on issues that are high-priority to her.