If it were up to Massachusetts House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo, the state's minimum wage would be $10.50 -- a $2.50 hike from the state's current hourly pay.
DeLeo proposed the wage hike at a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event Monday. His proposed package would gradually increase hourly wage starting with $9 at the beginning of July, to $10.50 by 2016.
The AP reported that a bill already approved by the Senate would raise the minimum wage to $11 over the same period of time. However, DeLeo's plan would not tie future wage hikes to inflation.
His proposal was met with both public praise and criticism:
Interesting to watch the MA House cravenly destroy a win -- the moral issue of minimum wage -- to serve biz lobby campaign funders #mapoli— RightWingWatch Fan (@RWwatchMA) March 13, 2014
The Boston Globe reported:
The speaker also outlined a package of reforms to the state’s uninsurance employment program that he said would lower the tax burden on most employers, shield them from short-term fluctuations in employment trends, and close “loopholes” in the system for certain public sector employees.
Both his unemployment insurance program and minimum wage hike program would roll into one bill DeLeo said would be sent to the House, the AP reported.
‘‘It is a careful balancing act and one that involves improving conditions for workers at the bottom of our wage scale while creating a climate that permits businesses to create jobs,’’ DeLeo said at the event Monday.