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Gov. Patrick Signs New Minimum Wage Law

The move will raise the minimum wage to $11 by 2017.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday signed legislation that raises the state's minimum wage to the highest in the country. 

The bill, S.2195, "An Act Restoring the Minimum Wage and Providing Unemployment Insurance Reforms," gradually raises the minimum wage to $11 over the course of the next three years while also lowering unemployment insurance costs for employers across Massachusetts. 

Patrick called for the raise of the minimum wage in January, and the newly-signed bill aims to bring "relief" to more than 800,000 wage earners. It also marks the first time tipped worker wages have been raised in Massachusetts since 1999, Patrick's office said in an announcement Thursday. 

"Raising the minimum wage brings a little relief to the working poor, many of whom do jobs we could not live without and who recycle money right back into the economy," Patrick said in a statement. "By signing this bill, we show the nation that opportunity can and must be spread outward, not just upward. I thank the legislature for their important work in reaching this milestone."

Reforms to the state unemployment insurance system, meanwhile, would freeze UI rates for employers for three years and expand the wage base subject to those rates to $15,000, according to Thursday's announcement. 

"A 38 percent pay raise means a lot to low-wage workers who may have to work several jobs to just to put food on the table," said Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rachel Kaprielian. "Massachusetts is leading the way in bringing them closer to earning a paycheck they and their families can live on."

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh also commended the move on Thursday, releasing the following statement:

"I applaud Governor Deval Patrick for signing an increase in our state’s minimum wage into law today. By 2017, Massachusetts will have the highest minimum wage in the nation at $11 per hour, signaling our shared commitment to working people across the Commonwealth.Our communities are increasingly becoming those of haves and have-nots. No parent working full-time should have to raise their children in poverty. This increase in the minimum and tipped wages will benefit more than half a million people, the majority of whom are women. It will allow these families to better support themselves and have more dollars to reinvest in our local economy. I also thank the many stakeholders who have played an important role in increasing our minimum wage and securing this pathway out of poverty for hard-working families in Massachusetts."

For more information on the legislation, click here >>

Gretchen Robinson June 28, 2014 at 01:25 PM
the ignorance here is appalling. Learn some statistics instead of cherry-picking from Fux News or whatever blather you listen to. Think.
Frank Mulligan June 28, 2014 at 07:10 PM
PEOPLE just barely make it TODAY. By 2017 It will be $11.00. Things won't be any BETTER. Small store's won't hire PEOPLE. LET"s pay the GOVERNOR $11.00 a HOUR. Let him find out what LIFE is LIKE.
steve forte June 28, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Well Frank , the gov got an education and put himself in a position to not have to work for min wage. Had the folks earning the min done the same thing , it would be a non issue to them to.
mark June 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM
People making $40 an hour can barely make it living in this state! Ridiculous cost of housing, gas, taxes and fees! Let's shut down the government!
JohnnyMass June 29, 2014 at 11:38 PM
Patrick sucks!

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