Bill increasing minimum wage heads to Raimondo’s desk

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The General Assembly approved legislation Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour starting Oct. 1.

The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Erin Lynch Prata and Rep. David Bennett, now heads to Gov. Gina Raimondo’s desk.

“I believe very strongly that all working people deserve to be able to afford a decent life,” Bennett said. “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.”

Since January 1, 2019, the minimum wage has been $10.50. 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,” Prata said. “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.”

Bennett and Prata have been the primary sponsors of every law enacted to raise Rhode Island’s minimum wage since 2012 when the minimum wage was $7.40.

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