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Minimum wage hike dies a quick death

The General Assembly is getting down to business this week, and over in the Senate, one of the Democratic bills designed to create a “dilemma [1]” for Republicans has quickly gone down to defeat [2]:

The Virginia Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee voted down a measure that would have increased the state’s minimum wage.

The committee voted 11 to 3 to pass the bill by indefinitely, effectively killing its chance of passage this session.

All of the committee’s 11 Republicans opposed the bill introduced by Sen. David W. Marsden, D-Fairfax, which would have raised the state’s minimum wage to $8 per hour on July 1, $9 per hour on July 1, 2016, and to $10.10 per hour in 2017. The committee’s three Democrats voted in favor of the measure.

Hardly a surprise. Does it create a “dilemma” for Republicans? Only if Democrats are smarter than they have appeared in recent days (their back-biting retreat on Joe Morrissey has been a joy to watch).

The bigger question is whether the top Democrat in Richmond, Terry McAuliffe, really cares about anything that happens during the session. Yes, this is his year to build an electoral legacy, which would help him next year when he drafts his first budget.

But as has been obvious since last year, McAuliffe’s audience and ambitions are national. It’s hard to see him sitting out a presidential race that features his old comrade, Hillary Clinton.

And should she win, it’s a safe bet McAuliffe follows her to DC.

So long, Virginia, and thanks for all the fish.