Lawmakers in Rhode Island's House and Senate labor committees are considering a compromise this week that would increase the state's minimum wage. But the proposed 60-cent wage hike is less than what some lawmakers had hoped to see.
Currently, Rhode Island's minimum wage is $9 an hour. The original bill would have hiked the wage to $10.10 as of 2016. The bill now calls for an increase to $9.60 per hour.
Committees in both the House and Senate are slated to vote on the new proposal this week. If approved, it will head to the full General Assembly for a vote. Gov. Gina Raimondo has already voiced her support for an increase, saying it would help spark the state's still flagging economy. Critics say the move could lead to hiring freezes by small businesses, unable to afford more workers.
This would be the fourth consecutive year Rhode Island has raised the minimum wage.
In other New England states, similar plans are underway to increase minimum wages. Connecticut will reach $9.60 an hour in 2016. Massachusetts has approved an increase to $10 an hour.
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