Backers urge passage of $15 minimum wage - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Backers urge passage of $15 minimum wage

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(photo MGN-Online) (photo MGN-Online)

BOSTON (AP) - Backers of a proposal to gradually raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour say they're ready to send the issue directly to voters unless lawmakers take action first.

Several hundred union activists and other members of the Raise Up Coalition rallied at the Statehouse Tuesday, urging the Legislature to approve the bill that would hike the current $11 hourly minimum wage by $1 annually until it reaches $15. It also increases the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers such as restaurant servers.

Advocates say it would help lift many families out of poverty.

Legislative leaders have expressed hope for a compromise that would also address concerns raised by many employers about the plan.

The coalition is collecting signatures to secure a spot for the proposal on the November ballot.

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