House supports increase to minimum wage


STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today approved legislation sponsored by Rep. David A. Bennett to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour on Oct. 1.

The legislation (2020-H 7157A) now goes to the Senate, which last week approved identical legislation (2020-S 2147A) sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston).

“Putting more money in the pockets of those with the lowest wages helps their families and the economy overall, because people at that end of the wage spectrum pump that money right back into the local economy, buying necessities. It also means less demand for public assistance. A stronger minimum wage will mean a stronger economy for Rhode Island,” said Representative Bennett (D-Dist. 20, Warwick, Cranston). “I believe very strongly that all working people deserve to be able to afford a decent life. Minimum wage hasn’t kept pace with inflation since it began, and Rhode Island’s remains behind neighboring states’. Each time we raise it, it means a bit of relief and a bit more dignity for those workers who struggle the most to afford life in Rhode Island.”

Rhode Island’s minimum wage has been $10.50 since Jan. 1, 2019. The minimum wage is $12.75 in Massachusetts and $11 in Connecticut.

Representative Bennett, who serves as chairman of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, and Senator Lynch Prata have been the primary sponsors of every law enacted to raise Rhode Island’s minimum wage since 2012, when minimum wage was $7.40.


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