|July 5, 2012|
Previously published on July 2, 2012
Rhode Island’s minimum wage will be $7.75 an hour, an increase of 35 cents over the current rate, beginning January 1, 2013. The legislation (2012-H 7396A) was signed by Governor Lincoln Chafee on June 20, 2012. This will be the first minimum wage hike in the Ocean State since 2007. Approximately 10,000 people make the minimum wage in Rhode Island, according to state labor numbers.
Bills to increase the minimum wage have been introduced, in other states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, but have not passed. Legislation providing for annual increases to state minimum wage rates based on increases in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (over a 12-month period ending each August 31) and inflation are on the books in a number of states, including Arizona, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. These indexed increases, if any, are announced near the end of each year. As a result of economic conditions in late 2009, these states did not increase their minimum wage rates for 2010.
At the federal level, Representative Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. (D-Illinois) introduced the Catching Up to 1968 Act of 2012 (H.R. 5901) on June 6, 2012, to increase the federal minimum wage by $2.75, to $10 an hour from $7.25.