American Payroll Association (APA) Basic Guide to Payroll, 2013 Edition
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Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed legislation (S.B. 2374/H.B. 7396) on June 21 that will increase the state's minimum wage to $7.75 beginning January 1, 2013.
The last time the minimum wage increased in Rhode Island was in 2007, when it was set at $7.40.
“Individuals who are working minimum wage jobs in the state, jobs that absolutely need to be done to keep many businesses open, need to earn a fair wage,” said Senator Erin P. Lynch, a prime sponsor of S.B. 2374. “I don’t think the intent is to have somebody supporting a family on $7.75. We’re just looking to allow them to make just a little bit more money so they can make ends meet.”
Representative David A. Bennett, the prime sponsor on H.B. 7396, said that “This minimum wage hike, which is a five percent increase, still represents a significant lag over the increase in inflation during the past five years. But an increase is absolutely necessary to help the people at the bottom of the pay scale, who are doing vital jobs for our economy and are struggling to make ends meet.”
Of the New England states, Rhode Island has gone the longest without a minimum wage increase. During the past five years, the Massachusetts minimum wage has gone from $7.50 to $8, and Connecticut, which was at $7.65 in 2007, is at $8.25 today.
The current minimum wages of the other New England states are: Maine, $7.50; New Hampshire, $7.25; Vermont, $8.46.
The legislation was supported, during committee testimony, by a number of organizations, including The Economic Progress Institute, the RI Chapter of the National Organization for Women, Ocean State Action and the RI AFL-CIO. (Rhode Island General Assembly Press Release, June 21, 2012.)
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