Rhode Island's minimum wage may increase again this year, the third year in a row the lowest-paid workers would get a boost in their paychecks.
Cumberland Rep. James McLaughlin proposed increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour from its current $8, enacted last year. Before 2013, the minimum was $7.75. The national minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. McLaughlin proposed the increase Thursday, the second day of the 2013 legislative session.
Supporters of the bill say the increase would help the state's lowest earning workers pay for ever-increasing costs of living. Opponent say the increase is a burden to businesses, even with the stepped approach the General Assembly has taken in increase the wage in recent years.
What do you think? Is a minimum wage increase necessary to help those at the bottom of the pay scale, or is it an unfair burden to the businesses that emply them? Let us know in the comments section below.