Raise Up Massachusetts Not Taking Minimum Wage Hike to 2024 Ballot

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/08/04/raise-up-massachusetts-not-taking-minimum-wage-hike-to-2024-ballot/

By Michael P. Norton and Chris Lisinski
State House News Service

Supporters of a minimum wage increase have opted not to pursue a ballot question in 2024.

Raise Up Massachusetts spokesman Andrew Farnitano, whose group had been weighing an initiative petition to secure another minimum wage hike, confirmed the coalition’s decision to State House News Service on Tuesday afternoon, August 1.

The influential alliance of organized labor, community groups, and faith-based organizations for months had been publicly mulling an effort to get voters to boost the minimum wage, which ended a years-long climb to $15 in January and will not rise again without additional action.

Instead, Raise Up will continue to support legislation filed by state representatives Tram Nguyen (D-Andover) and Daniel Donahue (D-Worcester) and state Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) (H.1925/S.1200). Those bills would increase the minimum wage $1.25 an hour per year until it reaches $20 an hour in 2027, plus boost the minimum wage for tipped workers to $12 per hour in 2027, and link both to the consumer price index so they continue to automatically grow apace with inflation.

The Raise Up coalition successfully pursued an earned sick time ballot question in 2014.

In 2018, the coalition offered a pair of ballot questions seeking a $15-an-hour minimum wage and creation of a paid family and medical leave program, but they wound up securing passage of those policies as part of an omnibus “grand bargain” law signed by then-Governor Charlie Baker.

The coalition in 2022 was the primary force behind a successful measure to amend the state constitution, which voters approved 52.3 percent to 47.7 percent, imposing a 4 percent surtax on annual income above $1 million, in addition to the 5 percent income tax all earners in Massachusetts pay.

Raise Up has not pursued ballot questions during presidential election years.


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