Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed legislation on June 17 to raise the state minimum wage from $9.00 to $9.60 per hour on January 1, 2016.
The legislation–H. 5074A/S. 0194A–sponsored by Sen. Erin P. Lynch and Rep. David A. Bennett, passed both chambers of the Rhode Island General Assembly on June 11, 2015.
Legislative leaders pointed to the minimum wages of surrounding states as one reason Rhode Island needs another raise next year. The rate in Connecticut will also be $9.60 in 2016 and $10.10 in 2017. The rate in Massachusetts will rise to $10 in 2016 and $11 in 2017. (The Rhode Island legislation does not address 2017.)
Lynch and Bennett have designed the past three wage hikes in Rhode Island: Before passing their bill raising it from $7.40 to $7.75 on January 1, 2013, the state minimum wage had not increased since 2007. The minimum wage rose to $8.00 on January 1, 2014, and most recently to $9.00 per hour on January 1. (H. 5074A, L. 2015; S. 0194A, L. 2015; State of Rhode Island General Assembly Press Release, June 11, 2015.)
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