Massachusetts lawmakers hear calls for higher minimum wage
September 20, 2017 05:00 AM
BOSTON (AP) - A legislative committee is hearing testimony from supporters and opponents of a bill that would gradually raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour.
A group called Raise Up Massachusetts is also gathering signatures to put the measure before voters next year if the Legislature doesn't act on it during the current session.
In 2014, lawmakers approved a bill that raised the hourly minimum wage in three steps from $8 to the current $11.
Despite that increase, advocates for low-income workers say many still live in poverty and struggle to provide for their families.
The Massachusetts chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business says increasing the minimum wage to $15 would be "irresponsible." The group says it would result in fewer hours and fewer jobs for low-wage earners.
Created: September 20, 2017 05:00 AM
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)