Senate Approves Minimum Wage Increase to $9

The bill now heads to the House for consideration before the House Committee on Labor.

In a busy night at the Rhode Island State House on Wednesday, the Senate approve legislation that would increase the state's minimum wage by $1 to $9, effective next January.

“Individuals working minimum wage jobs in the state, jobs that are absolutely vital to keep our economy running and many businesses functioning, need to earn a fair wage,” said Sen. Erin P. Lynch (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston), the bill’s sponsor. “Nobody should be working a full-time job at a wage that keeps them in poverty.”

The bill now heads to the House for consideration before the House Committee on Labor.

Lynch cited statistics from the Women’s Law Center, which reports 60 percent of workers earning minimum wage are females. According to the AFL-CIO, raising the minimum wage will affect 65,000 Rhode Islanders.

Rhode Island’s current minimum wage of $8 went into effect this January, as a result of legislation enacted by the General Assembly last session that was also sponsored by Senator Lynch.

Raising Rhode Island’s minimum wage would keep the state even with or close to nearby Massachusetts and Connecticut

In Connecticut, for instance, a recently enacted law raises that state’s minimum wage from the current $8.70 to $9.15 on January 1, 2015; then to $9.60 on January 1, 2016, and $10.10 on January 1, 2017.

The Raise Up Massachusetts ballot initiative will, if approved, raise the Bay State’s wage from the current $8 to $9.25 at the beginning of 2015, and to $10.50 beginning in 2016. Beginning the following year, the minimum wage in Massachusetts would be tied to the cost of living. The ballot initiative would also increase the hourly wage of tipped workers to $4.15 in 2015 and to $6.30 the following year.

The minimum wage of the other New England states is: Vermont, $8.73, with an increase to $9.15 scheduled in 2015, then to $9.60 in 2016, to $10 in 2017 and to $10.50 in 2018; Maine, $7.50, and New Hampshire, $7.25. The federal minimum wage, which has not changed since 2009, is $7.25.

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Dist. 28, Cranston, Providence), Sen. Harold M. Metts (D-Dist. 6, Providence), Sen. Ryan W. Pearson (D-Dist. 19, Cumberland, Lincoln) and Sen. Adam J. Satchell (D-Dist. 9, West Warwick).

Russell Archambault June 12, 2014 at 11:21 PM
Otto I don't think that you really are a looser, your just playing us on patch. Or are you really playing all of us, and are a real looser? Trust me you loose with very little or almost nothing in your life with what you have to beg for. I see hundreds of you every month.
mad hatter June 13, 2014 at 06:59 AM
im not buying it. Otto just took us all for a walk. fake. well done sir, well done.
Ralph June 13, 2014 at 08:05 AM
Otto did you ever think reelecting democrats may be the primary problem with this state? You know the definition of insanity, it applies to RI elections!
CB11 June 13, 2014 at 10:37 AM
True dat, Lt. Bil Drat! Peace, out.
CB11 June 13, 2014 at 10:45 AM
It's not so much a Democrat/Republican issue that is destroying the state, it's everyone in the General Assembly that has ties, had ties, has family with ties or just plain owes the PUBLIC UNIONS. The rest of us have no say, no representation and no voice! This state is being run like one big Public Union shop! They have too much power. If we want change, we need to elect people who are not beholding to unions for anything.


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