Mass. Senate approves minimum wage compromise

BOSTON (WWLP) - Massachusetts House and Senate negotiators have reached a compromise on raising minimum wage and on Thursday, the Senate approved the deal.

“If you put more money into people’s pockets they spend more money in the economy. They have more disposable income to buy that pizza, to get that haircut,” said Wilbraham Democrat Gale Candaras.

Late Wednesday night, negotiators agreed to raise minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 over three years. A Senate-backed initiative to tie minimum wage to the cost of living was voted down, but could still end up on the November ballot if petitioners aren’t satisfied. Opponents argue that raising minimum wage will cost jobs, leading owners to cut hours and positions to keep up with the pay hike.

Senate President Therese Murray believes the compromise will help struggling families survive in Massachusetts.

“We’re paying attention to the fact that even though they work hard, some of them working two and three jobs, they’re not making it in Massachusetts and hopefully this will help them,” said President Murray.

Ballot petitioners said in order for them to pull the plug, the compromise would have to pass the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor before their signature gathering deadline.

The Senate voted 39-4 in favor of the bill. Next, the House will take a look at the bill, which could happen as soon as next week.

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