Gov. Patrick to sign minimum wage increase into law

Would give the state the nation's highest minimum wage

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BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is planning to sign a bill that would raise the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017.

Patrick plans to sign the bill at a Statehouse ceremony Thursday, and 22News will be there. You can watch the ceremony streaming live at 11:00 A.M. here on WWLP.com. 22News State House Reporter Tiffany Chan will also have live reports on 22News at Noon and on 22News tonight starting at 5.

The bill would increase the minimum wage gradually, to $9 per hour in 2015, $10 in 2016 and $11 in 2017 — which would be the highest in the nation.

President Barack Obama praised Massachusetts lawmakers last week for “standing up for working men and women.”

Obama also said he looked forward to Patrick, a fellow Democrat and supporter, signing the bill.

The measure also would gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers, such as restaurant servers, from $2.63 per hour to $3.75 per hour, a 31 percent increase and the first since 1999.

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