GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Breaking News

Latest Cape Ann News

February 11, 2014

House official wants Mass. to take minimum-wage lead

CAMBRIDGE — With the state Senate on record in support of increasing the minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2016, a key House Democrat told party members over the weekend that he hopes Massachusetts will have the highest minimum wage in the country by the end of the year.

“I am the author on the House side, as we speak, of a minimum wage bill that I want to bring to the floor next month, and I hope for the end of this year to have the highest minimum wage in the United States of America, right here in Massachusetts,” said Rep. Tom Conroy, a Wayland Democrat. “This is a concrete way that I’m trying to fight on behalf of all those folks who are struggling on the margins.”

Conroy, who abandoned a brief U.S. Senate campaign in 2011 and is now running for state treasurer, is the House chairman of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development charged with developing minimum wage and unemployment insurance legislation.

His comments came as business and labor groups turn their attention to the House, which has yet to roll out plans for tackling both issues.

The minimum wage in Massachusetts, a high-income and high cost-of-living state, has slipped below neighboring states like Connecticut and Vermont. Beacon Hill Democrats have been saying for months that low-wage workers need a higher wage floor but so far have been unable to agree on a proposal.

After his speech at a Democratic caucus outside Central Square, Conroy told the News Service that the highest minimum wage in the country is $10 per hour. Asked if he was talking about setting the minimum wage higher than that, Conroy said, “Do the math.”

Activists are pushing a ballot referendum that would increase the wage to $10.50 per hour by 2016, and in November, the Senate advanced a bill that would increase the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2016.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA