SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

June 12, 2014

Deal would give Mass. nation-leading $11 minimum wage

BOSTON — The minimum wage in Massachusetts would increase to from $8 an hour to $11 an hour by 2017 under a deal announced Wednesday night by top House and Senate Democrats that would give Massachusetts the highest statewide minimum wage in the country while also reforming unemployment insurance to help employers with stable payrolls save money.

The panel of House and Senate lawmakers negotiating the compromise sealed the deal on Wednesday night, filing a report (S 2195) that would phase in the minimum wage hike by $1 at a time starting in January 2015 when the wage would increase to $9 an hour.

The bill also includes an overhaul of the state's unemployment insurance system, adjusting the rates paid by businesses to cover the cost of benefits for the jobless by smoothing increases to avoid sharp spikes in rates and rewarding employers with stable workforces.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill when it meets on Thursday, according to a senior Senate staffer.

The compromise excluded a Senate-backed provision that would have indexed future increases in the minimum wage to inflation, a measure that proponents argued to be necessary for wages to keep pace over time with the rising cost of living in Massachusetts.

The House earlier this year rejected indexing, and proposed to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 in line with what organizers behind a ballot petition that could still go before voters have proposed. The ballot petitioners also want to see the wage base indexed to inflation, and it remains to be seen whether the compromise bill with a higher wage will be enough to convince organizers to drop the ballot drive.

The House, which passed an economic development bill 125-23 late Wednesday night, is expected to take up the conference report as soon as next week, according to a House official.

Senate President Therese Murray, who plans to leave the Senate after her term expires in January, issued a statement calling the compromise "the start of a conversation about how we can ensure a living wage for residents in Massachusetts."

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
US Stocks Plunge, Wiping Out July's Gains Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones All Aboard! LIRR Strike Averted Microsoft to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs Time Warner Rejects Murdoch's Takeover Bid Yellen Says Economy Still Needs Fed Support Cleveland Expects Economic Boom From Lebron Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Justice Dept. Fines Citigroup $7 Billion Downside of Low Mortgage Rates? Less Selling Cupcake Shop Crumbs Shuttering All Its Stores San Francisco Prepares for Soda Battle Dow Breaks Record 17,000
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Comments Trcker