WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Massachusetts' minimum wage is already 75 cents higher than the federal rate, but some lawmakers say even that's not enough.
In his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $9 per hour, which is larger than the current Massachusetts minimum wage of $8 per hour, and much higher than the current national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
Under the Federal Minimum Wage Act of 2013, House and Senate Democrats want to increase the rate to $10.10 over the next three years. They say that it will shift millions of full-time workers out of the poverty level, and it would benefit the larger economy. Republicans disagree, saying that the proposal would hurt employers' ability to do business.
Some seem receptive to the idea.
"Anything we can do to raise the minimum wage anywhere between $9 and $10 I think is a win for the entire country. Those people become more productive, they're able to put back into the economic system," John Bonzagni of West Springfield said.
Tipped workers currently make $2.13 per hour, and the group hasn't seen a raise in more than 20 years. This bill would increase their wage to $5.08 per hour.