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1540 Updates

State senator fails to tie minimum wage increases to the CPI

A state senator has failed in a bid to tie increases in Rhode Island's minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index before the Senate approved another raise.

Sen. Leonidas Raptakis said he wanted to avoid the annual debate and prevent the raises from becoming a "runaway train."

The Coventry Democrat introduced a bill amendment Wednesday before the Senate considered raising the $9 hourly minimum to $9.60 on Jan. 1. The amendment failed.

The amendment would have raised the hourly rate to $10 in 2017 and indexed it in 2018.

Senators expressed concern about the effect on small businesses and the unpredictability of the CPI, and questioned whether other elected leaders would support it.

The Senate then overwhelming approved raising the hourly minimum to $9.60 on Jan. 1.

The House approved the raise Tuesday.




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