Mass. Senate president seeks minimum wage hike

(Tracy O/Flickr)
Credit: Tracy O/Flickr

Senate President Therese Murray told business leaders it may be time for Massachusetts to raise the minimum wage.

“By identifying what a living wage is in Massachusetts, we can have a positive impact on families, and especially single parents who are trying to improve the lives of their children,” Murray told members of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast Thursday morning.

The minimum wage in the Bay State is $8 an hour, and hasn’t been increased since 2008.

At that rate, Murray said, Massachusetts adults make only $16,704 a year, well below the federal poverty level.

Murray pointed to nearby states that are taking steps to bump up their minimum wages. In Maine, legislation is pending that would boost the amount to $9 per hour by 2016, with annual adjustments based on inflation.

New Yorkers will also be paid at least $9 an hour by the end of 2015.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. President Obama has proposed raising it to $10.10 by 2015, with yearly increases tied to inflation.

On Jan. 1, Washington state raised its minimum wage to $9.19, the highest in the United States.

The Massachusetts welfare system also needs another look, according to Murray, who said the current rules “continue to serve as incentives for individuals to stay on welfare instead of working.”

Murray encouraged the Department of Transitional Assistance to provide more training, education and job placement programs for welfare recipients.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.


Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…


Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.


Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…


Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.


Review: 'Fading Gigolo' finds few jokes in women…

John Turturro writes, directs and stars in "Fading Gigolo," in which he plays a prostitute whose pimp is Woody Allen. And there's still very few jokes.


Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.


Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.


Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.