$15 minimum wage, paid leave proposals heard by Massachusetts lawmakers

BOSTON (AP) – Lawmakers are hearing arguments for and against proposals to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and require that workers be offered paid family medical leave.

The Legislature’s Labor and Workforce Development Committee heard testimony Tuesday on the two initiative petitions that are likely to go before Massachusetts voters on the November ballot.

Supporters who gathered nearly 250,000 signatures on behalf of the measures say they will improve the lives of low-income workers and their families.

The hourly minimum wage would be gradually raised from the current $11 to $15 by 2022.

The state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, Christopher Carlozzi, says his organization is “extremely concerned” about the proposals that he says will further increase the already high cost of doing businesses in Massachusetts.

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