Massachusetts debates minimum wage hike

June 11, 2013 at 11:21 AM

BOSTON, June 11 (UPI) -- Raising the minimum wage in Massachusetts from $8 an hour to $11 by 2015 would bankrupt some businesses, a retail group spokesman said.

"We need to control the cost of doing business in Massachusetts. Times have changed, and the ability to pass on new mandated costs is simply not reality today,"said Jon Hurst of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts in advance of a hearing in Boston in which lawmakers plan to explore the possibility of raising the state's minimum wage.

The minimum wage has not changed in the state since 2008, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.

Senate President Therese Murray is expected to testify Tuesday.

Murray favors raising the rate, but thinks $11 per hour is too high, the Boston Herald reported.

"I don't have a number. I wanted to start the conversation," Murray said.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo also indicated he would not support a 38 percent jump to $11 per hour.

But the bill under consideration is "asking for the bare minimum," said Tim Sullivan, legislative director of the AFL-CIO.

Sullivan said he expected more than 400 supports of the bill to attend the hearing.

"Thereafter, we'll have substantial lobbying efforts," he said.

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