EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Boston and Beyond

March 26, 2014

Mass. House leaders press new minimum wage bill


Senate President Therese Murray’s office did not have an immediate response to Conroy’s proposal.

Both Murray and House Speaker Robert DeLeo, a fellow Democrat, have embraced an increase in the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage, although there are significant differences between the two proposals.

The Senate bill would raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour over three years and automatically index future increases to the rate of inflation — a key demand of labor unions pressing for the wage hike.

DeLeo said he wants a bill that would hike the minimum wage to an hourly rate of $10.50 by 2016, but would not include the automatic hike indexed to increases in the cost of living.

They also differ on how much to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers like waiters.

There is a third effort underway to raise the state’s minimum wage: a ballot question being pushed by the labor-backed group Raise Up Massachusetts.

The question, which would be placed on the November state ballot, would raise the minimum wage to $10.50 an hour over two years and index future increases to inflation.

The last minimum wage hike in Massachusetts was in 2008.

Labor activists and other supporters of a higher minimum wage are planning to rally at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

The call for a higher minimum wage has also won the endorsement of Massachusetts’ four Roman Catholic bishops, although they haven’t said how high it should be.

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