BOSTON (WWLP) – A long-stalled bill gained momentum as the Senate agreed to raise minimum wage to $11. It would benefit hourly workers, but it could hurt small businesses and your wallet.
The Massachusetts Senate agreed to raise minimum wage from $8 to $11 over three years and then tie it to inflation. It is beneficial for hourly and tipped workers, but increasing pay could lead to businesses raising their prices.
“Small businesses are very sensitive to things like the minimum wage, very sensitive to things like unemployment insurance. Well they look at the numbers and they say can I add one more employee,” said Wilbraham Democrat Gale Candaras.
Since the House wants to raise minimum wage to $10.50 without ties to inflation, the issue will likely move to a conference committee made up of three members from each chamber for debate.
“The more it gets dragged out the more uncertainty is out there in the community. I know just the uncertainty of a change in minimum wage law has already sort of impacted employer decisions about hiring,” said Westfield Republican Don Humason.
Raising minimum wage will not just hurt small businesses, but larger corporations like Six Flags in Springfield are reluctant to hire, especially the youth, if wages go up. Small businesses are hit the hardest from raising minimum wage. Higher pay could lead to fewer jobs in the Commonwealth.