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Is $16,640 Per Year A Living Wage?

Old cash register. (seanmcmenemy/Flickr)

Old cash register. (seanmcmenemy/Flickr)

Senate President Therese Murray told a group of business leaders this morning to reconsider what passes for a living wage in the state.

Speaking to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, she pointed out that other nearby states have raised their own minimum wages. In the Bay State, the minimum wage has been $8 per hour since 2008. That amounts to a yearly salary of around $16,640. Meanwhile, a recent report found that 60 percent of Massachusetts residents live paycheck to paycheck.

But business leaders say the realities of minimum wage work aren’t quite so black and white, and that raising the basement salary could impede more hiring.

We’ll dig in to both sides of the debate on the state’s minimum wage law.

Guests

Therese Murray, president of the state Senate

Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts

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WBUR: “In a breakfast speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Plymouth Democrat noted that lawmakers in Maine recently approved a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2016, adjusting it annually for inflation after that. The bill has yet to be signed into law.”


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