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Legislative committee to consider Massachusetts minimum wage hike

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The Legislature’s Labor and Workforce Development committee will be holding a brief legislative hearing on Paid Family and Medical Leave and a $15 Minimum Wage this week. The hearing will take place in the Massachusetts State House, Room B2, at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 30th.

Raise Up Massachusetts’ paid leave ballot question would create a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program for Massachusetts workers, providing up to 16 weeks of job-protected paid leave to care for a seriously ill or injured family member, to care for a new child, or to meet family needs arising from a family member’s active duty military service (family leave); and up to 26 weeks of job-protected paid leave to recover from a worker’s own serious illness or injury (medical leave), or to care for a seriously ill or injured service member.

Raise Up Massachusetts’ $15 minimum wage ballot question would raise the Massachusetts minimum wage, currently $11 an hour, by $1 each year over four years until it is $15 an hour in 2022. The minimum wage would then be adjusted each year to rise at the same rate as the cost of living.

This fall, the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition of community organizations, religious groups, and labor unions collected a total of 274,652 signatures, all without using paid signature gathering companies. The coalition collected 139,055 signatures for a $15 minimum wage and 135,597 for paid family and medical leave, well beyond the required 64,750 signatures for each petition.

Both measures are expected to be on November’s ballot.

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