MASSACHUSETTS POISED TO BECOME
JUST 3RD STATE WITH BOTH
$15 MINIMUM WAGE AND PAID LEAVE
Raise up Massachusetts
For the past several years, MCAE has been a proud member of the
Raise Up Massachusetts coalition, partnering with labor, faith, and other communities to seek a sizable and progressive revenue increase, improvements in the minimum wage, and the creation of a paid family and medical leave program. These policies would benefit hundreds of thousands of workers and their families statewide, including many adult students and educators.
Many of you helped to move these policies forward, contacting your elected officials to urge their support or collecting signatures from your fellow residents to put these issues on the ballot if needed. This week marked the culmination of the coalition's efforts, as it achieved two tremendous economic justice victories, though it also suffered some significant setbacks.
In a whirlwind of action on Wednesday,
both the House of Representatives and the Senate approved a far-reaching package of legislation that would both raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next 5 years and institute the most generous paid family and medical leave program in the nation, with benefits available to eligible workers starting in 2021
As the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center explains in two helpful fact sheets, a
$15 minimum wage
will mean higher wages for 943,000 Bay Staters, while
will lead to both better health outcomes and greater economic security.
The legislation unfortunately would also gradually eliminate time-and-a-half pay on Sundays for retail employees, a provision that the Legislature included in response to demands from the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM); in exchange, RAM has agreed to halt its efforts to put on the ballot a reduction in the sales tax rate to 5 percent, a change that would have drained close to $1.2 billion out of state coffers.
The legislation now awaits Governor Baker's signature, but, even if he were to veto the package, it is widely anticipated that the Legislature would quickly override him. In addition, Raise Up Massachusetts still has the ability to bring its initiative on the minimum wage, which would provide for a more rapid increase and a larger raise for employees who receive tips, to the ballot in November; the coalition will decide its course of action early next week.
As a result,
Massachusetts' lowest-paid workers can almost certainly expect to see a raise come January 1!
For more details on the legislation, see this story from the Boston Globe as well as this statement issued by Raise Up Massachusetts.
Sadly, the week began on a far less positive note. On Monday, Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) ruled that the
Fair Share Amendment, which Raise Up has championed for 3 years and which would have imposed a new tax on incomes over $1 million, violated constitutional rules prohibiting ballot initiatives from addressing more than one subject. Consequently, the Fair Share Amendment will
not appear on the ballot in November, denying voters a chance to generate close to $2 billion in additional revenue that would have been devoted to meeting meet critical education and transportation needs in the Commonwealth.
While the SJC's decision is extremely disappointing,
the fight to ensure Massachusetts makes critical investments in our shared future will continue - and MCAE will be there. Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester) has already announced plans to submit legislation next year to revive the Fair Share Amendment; several other policymakers have expressed interest in finding ways to boost education and transportation funding through fair and sustainable changes in tax policy.
MCAE will examine these options this fall as it develops its policy agenda for 2019-2020 legislative session, so please be sure to attend one of our upcoming Public Policy Committee meetings to offer your thoughts.
Don't Forget - Calls Still Needed on FY 2019 Budget
from earlier this week explained, House and Senate budget negotiators continue to hammer out the details of the state budget for the coming year - which means
you still have an opportunity to contact your Representative and Senator to express support for additional ABE funding and for vital protections for immigrant families
for more details.
Don't Forget II - Take Our Survey
There's also still time to complete MCAE's Advocacy Survey before our June 29 deadline. Just click
, answer 10 short questions, and you'll be entered into drawings for a free NETWORK 2019 registration and a Amazon gift card. Thanks!
Don't Forget III - Keep an Eye on Your Inbox
Finally, with July almost upon us, we know you making be taking some well-deserved time away to relax and recharge. We don't want to intrude on your summer, but please keep an eye on your in-box for
Alerts from MCAE - we hope to hold a set of membership meetings in various locations around the state in the weeks ahead and we wouldn't want you to miss out!
NEXT MCAE PUBLIC POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING
July 20, 2018
10 a.m. to 12 noon
44 Farnsworth St
For those unable to attend in person, this month's meeting
is accessible via
Please contact Jeff McLynch at 617-482-6223 to RSVP
and to obtain the necessary
Click below to select us
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