Minimum wage bill close to passage

BOSTON (WWLP) - The bill that would raise the state minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 by 2017, with no ties to inflation, is one step away from becoming law.

“I think putting more money in people’s pockets for them to be able to spend and give people the ability to earn a livable wage is something that’s very positive for the economy here in Massachusetts,” said Senator Jim Welch (D-West Springfield).

President Obama issued a statement praising the Massachusetts Legislature shortly after the Senate approved the measure.

“I look forward to Governor Patrick signing this bill into law soon, and I urge Congress to follow Massachusetts’ lead and lift wages for 28 million Americans by raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10,” said the President.

Some Republicans argue that higher pay means more taxes taken out of your paycheck, and even fewer jobs, especially for younger workers.

“If we increase the minimum wage, I mean they’re going to have to start to lay people off or stop hiring, and especially it’ll be hard on those people with the least amount of experience, high school students, college students,” said Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield).

If the bill is signed to law, minimum wage workers would see a $1 increase beginning in January. Governor Patrick is expected to move forward with the bill; no word yet on when that will be.

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