Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker Signs Bill Increasing Minimum Wage, Require Paid Leave

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a bill that will increase the minimum wage, require paid leave for workers and mandate an annual August sales tax holiday.

"I think the legislature and the proponents of each of these ballot questions deserve enormous credit for finding their way to a common conclusion here," Baker said. "I certainly agree with Senator Lewis when he says that the product of this is a far better product for the Commonwealth than each of these as standalone entities would’ve been for Massachusetts."

The so-called "grand bargain" was designed to keep a series of ballot questions off the November ballot, including a proposal to cut the state sales tax from the current 6.25 percent to 5 percent.

The Republican signed the bill Thursday in his office alongside Democratic legislative leaders.

The bill will let workers take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a sick family member or new baby and up to 20 weeks of paid leave for their own medical needs.

It will also gradually raise the state's minimum wage from $11 to $15 an hour by 2023.

This bargain has its share of opposition, including from some business owners - since the program will cost an estimated $800 million in premiums, collected through a payroll tax.

Governor Baker has voiced opposition to broad-based taxes in the past.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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