By Bob Katzen
The Labor and Workforce Development Committee held a hearing on legislation that would raise the current $15 minimum hourly wage for workers, including municipal workers, by $1.25 per year until it reaches $20 per hour in 2027.
Other provisions index the minimum wage to inflation beginning in January 2028; increase the minimum wage for tipped workers from $6.75 to $12 by 2027 and then set it at 60 percent of the full minimum wage in future years.
“Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour has had a tremendously positive impact on hundreds of thousands of working individuals and families in the commonwealth who have seen their take-home pay increase and improve their standard of living,” said Senate sponsor Sen. Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “However, due to high inflation, the buying power of $15 has been significantly eroded, and it is estimated by the MIT Living Wage Calculator that a single person living in the Greater Boston area would need to earn more than $22 per hour just to cover the basic necessities of life –and far more to support a family. This is why we need to start phasing in another increase to the minimum wage in Massachusetts.”
“We know that working families and individuals are under enormous financial stress with rising inflation and increased costs of housing and living,” said House sponsor Rep. Tram Nguyen (D-Andover). ”As workers are struggling to meet their basic needs and provide for their families, I am glad to [file] this bill to provide fair wages in our commonwealth.”