Four Of Six New England States Raising Minimum Wage In 2017

Dec 30, 2016

Massachusetts' 2017 rate of $11 an hour puts it in a tie for top statewide rate in the country, along with Washington state.

Not far behind are Connecticut, with a new rate of $10.10 an hour, and Vermont, at $10.

Rhode Island holds steady in the new year at $9.60, while Maine will see the largest increase in the region. On Jan. 7, its minimum wage will rise $1.50, up to $9 an hour, triggered by a ballot question voters approved in November.

That leaves New Hampshire well behind. It's the only New England state that follows the federal rate of $7.25 an hour.

New Hampshire State Representative Ed Butler is a Democrat and a small business owner. He previously opposed a minimum wage hike he said was too fast and too steep. But he supports a gradual increase.

"I am hoping that we can slowly raise the minimum wage to participate in the competition regionally, but also just to improve the lives and the earning power of people who are at the lower end of the wage-earning spectrum," he said Monday.

New Hampshire's incoming governor, Republican Chris Sununu, said during the campaign he opposes establishing a state minimum wage.