PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island lawmakers have offered yet another proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage.
The bill introduced by Rep. David Bennett would raise the wage to $9 per hour next year and $10 per hour in 2016. Beginning in 2017 the wage would automatically be adjusted for inflation. Bennett is a Warwick Democrat.
The current wage is $8 per hour.
Several lawmakers have said they’re interested in raising the wage. Another bill before the General Assembly would seek to increase it to $9.
Supporters say a higher wage would keep up with increases in housing, food and transportation costs and help the overall economy by giving low-income workers greater spending power. But opponents argue higher minimum wages raise costs on businesses and could result in small businesses hiring fewer workers.