House approves $11 minimum wage bill

Would give Mass. the highest minimum wage in the country

Photo: Thinkstock

BOSTON (WWLP) – Many Massachusetts workers could see a little more money in their paychecks as early as next year.

Last week, the Massachusetts Senate agreed to raise the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour and on Wednesday, the House of Representatives agreed.

The vote means that Massachusetts will be one step closer to having the highest statewide minimum wage in the country. Under the bill, the minimum wage would be increased over three years, with no tie to inflation.

Although the Senate gave their approval last week, not all House members agree it’s a good idea.

“This minimum wage was never intended to actually be a livable wage for someone; it’s supposed to be a stepping stone to the next job in the progression of your career, so we need real jobs,” said Rep. Nick Boldyga (R-Southwick), a member of the Committee on Labor and Workforce.

Holyoke Democratic Rep. Aaron Vega disagrees, saying that people are reliant on the minimum wage.

“The cost of living continues to go up, and whether you consider minimum wage a living wage or a stepping stone wage, the reality is that most of the people are working minimum wage jobs,” Vega said.

House-members voted 124-to-24 in favor of the bill. Next, each chamber will take a final vote before it heads to Governor Patrick’s desk.

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