Assembly passes $1 minimum wage increase
STATE HOUSE – With final votes in both chambers today, the General Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Erin Lynch Prata and Rep. David A. Bennett to raise the state’s minimum wage by $1 to $11.50 an hour on Oct. 1.
“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.
“As the costs of daily life continue to increase, we must not forget those who are on the bottom of the economic ladder. There is still much more work to be done to address this issue, but, this minimum wage increase is a good first step to ensuring that Rhode Islanders have a roof over their heads and food on the table for themselves and their families,” said Senator Lynch Prata (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston).
Senator Lynch Prata, who is chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Representative Bennett, who is chairman of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, have been the primary sponsors of every law enacted to raise Rhode Island’s minimum wage since 2012, when minimum wage was $7.40.
For an electronic version of this and all press releases published by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau, please visit our website at www.rilegislature.gov/pressrelease.