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State Report: Min. Wage Increase, Fundraisers, Mayoral Endorsement

Saturday, December 28, 2013


This week’s State Report focuses on the state’s minimum wage, which is set to increase next week—affecting early 10,000 Rhode Islanders. We’ll also look at a key endorsement picked up this week by a Providence mayoral candidate. Also on the docket is a pair of fundraiser announcements: one being held by an incumbent and another by a candidate in a special election. Lastly, we’ll take a look at two upcoming special committee meetings designed to increase efficiency and save money throughout Rhode Island’s cities and towns.

Minimum Wage Increase

Beginning on New Year’s Day, 9,000 Rhode Islanders will receive an automatic pay raise as the state increase its minimum wage from $7.75 to $8 an hour.

The pay hike puts Rhode Island Rhode Island on par with neighboring Massachusetts, but behind other New England states like Connecticut, whose minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $8.70 on New Year’s Day and Vermont, who will be increasing its minimum wage to $8.73. New Hampshire’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage is the lowest in New England and is one of 31 states where the federal minimum wage prevails.

It’s the second straight annual increase in Rhode Island. Last year, the state’s minimum wage rose 35 cents to $7.75. It marked the first time the wage had been increased since 2007.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, the wage increase will benefit 9,000 workers who currently make under $8 per hour, as well as another 14,000 low-wage earners, who are expected to see their hourly wage rise as pay scales are automatically adjusted upward to reflect the new minimum wage.

Twelve other states will increase their minimum wage on January 1. Here is the list of all the increases that will go into effect next week:

  • Arizona: $7.80 to $7.90
  • Colorado: $7.78 to $8.00
  • Connecticut: $8.25 to $8.70
  • Florida: $7.79 to $7.93
  • Missouri: $7.35 to $7.50
  • Montana: $7.80 to $7.90
  • New Jersey: $7.25 to $8.25
  • New York: $7.25 to $8.00
  • Ohio: $7.85 to $7.95
  • Oregon: $8.95 to $9.10
  • Rhode Island: $7.75 to $8.00
  • Vermont: $8.60 to $8.73
  • Washington State: $9.19 to $9.32


Additionally, several cities and counties are set to increase their minimum wage—including SeaTac, Washington, who approved a $15 minimum wage floor for its 6,000 airport workers. The measure is currently being challenged in court. Here's the full list:

  • San Francisco, Calif.: $10.55 to $10.74
  • San Jose, Calif.: $10.00 to $10.15
  • SeaTac, Wash.: $9.19 to $15.00

Related Slideshow:
RI State Report: More News of the Week - 12/28/13

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Mayoral Endorsement

Providence City Council President and mayoral contender Michael Solomon received an endorsement earlier this week from City Council Majority Leader Seth Yurdin.

Here's Yurdin's endorsement:

"Join me in supporting Michael Solomon as Providence's next mayor. As Council President he has led the city through an unprecedented fiscal crisis. Council President Solomon has supported important council initiatives- open and transparent city government, environmental sustainability, marriage equality - and many more. He knows how to get things done and will keep Providence moving forward!"

Yurdin represents Ward One, which includes Fox Point and parts of College Hill, and Wayland Square. He was first elected in 2006.

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Morin Fundraiser

A reception in support of State Representative Candidate Michael Morin will be held on Thursday, January 9th from 6pm - 9pm at Ciro's Tavern in Woonsocket. Morin is running for Woonsocket's District 49 seat, which was vacated by the City's new mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. Suggested contributions are $25, $50 and $100.

Morin, who is a captain on the Woonsocket Fire Department and president of IAFF Local 732, previously ran for the seat in 2012, but lost to Baldelli-Hunt.

Morin will face off against Mark L. Chenot and Douglas T. Brown in the special election primary on Jan. 21.

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Costa Fundraiser

Doreen Costa has announced she will hold her first fundraiser of 2014 on Saturday, February 1st at 1pm at the Sonoma Bistro and Wine Bar in North Kingstown.

The event will features an “Everything Chocolate” theme and includes Chocolate Cake, Truffles, Brownies, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and Chocolate Covered Potato Chips. Suggested donation is 30.00 per person.

Costa has represented District 31 in the Rhode Island House of Representatives since being elected in November 2010. She currently serves as deputy minority whip. Costa is also the finance director of the RIGOP.

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Tax Collection Services

The tax collection advisory committee of the Joint Municipal Shared Services Study Commission will hold its next meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014.

It will be the fifth in a series of meetings to discuss the feasibility of sharing municipal services within and between cities and towns as it relates to tax collection activities.

The meeting will include a presentation entitled "Alternatives to Current Local Tax Collection Activities" given by David Sullivan, Tax Administrator from the RI Division of Taxation.

The commission consists of residents, local officials and business owners from around Rhode Island. It was formed to look at ways in which cities and towns can increase efficiency and save money.

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Public Safety Services

The public safety dispatch advisory committee of the Joint Municipal Shared Services Study Commission will meet on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 to discuss the feasibility of sharing municipal services within and between cities and towns as it relates to public safety dispatch services.
The hearing will include guest speakers Bill Gasbarro and Greg Scungio from the E911 Emergency Telephone System, Department of Public Safety.

The commission, which was formed to identify ways in which cities can improve efficiency and save money, consist of residents, local officials and business owners from around Rhode Island.

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Cicilline Press Event

Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) will hold a press conference regarding the expiration of unemployment benefits today at 1pm at his office on 1070 Main Street, Suite 300, Pawtucket. The expiration of unemployment benefits, which is set to occue on Jan. 1, would impact 4,900 Rhode Islanders immediately and 21,700 state-wide by the end of 2014.

Cicilline will highlight the importance of these benefits, discuss some intended actions, and allow several constituents who have been receiving unemployment insurance to tell their stories. Cicilline will be available for questions following his remarks.


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Sammy Arizona

70+ years ago, FDR signed the minimum wage law, since then the Right-Wingnut-rubes have strongly opposed EVERY increase (even of just pennies per hour) with false predictions of economic doom, In those 70+ years, the American economy has grown to be the largest economy in the world.
Folks like Limbaugh and Gingrich, and many others on the Reight, have called for the abolition of the minimum wage.

The want the USA to be more like the conservative paradise Bangladesh were folks earn 17 cents and hour. and Children are paid 7 cents an hour, or less

Sammy Arizona

The want = They want

G Godot

Let's see, fast food business "M" has sales of "X "which means payroll "Y" cannot exceed ""Z" amount of the franchise will lose money. Soooo let's have the gubbermunt decide what the wage will be based on what "feels good" to the lefty. Result, some "M" stores close, and others simply fire enough staff so that the payroll comes back into line, pay the others what the law requires, and either make them work harder or install more automation. All in all, ignoring ECO 101 has the desired result for you, IF you own an automatic burger cooking equipment company. Of course there is the other unintended consequence which is the EXPORT of low wage jobs to other countries thanks to Bill Clinton's NAFTA. Bangladesh will prosper making men's shirts, but it won't be because of "Limbaugh" who railed against NAFTA.

Odd Job

Paid $9.91 earlier tonight for a Wendys "double" meal (2 patties) with a frosty instead of the soda and came with a large fries. About vapor locked. Hadn't been for awhile.
Never in my life have I paid practically 10$ for a fast food meal.
Won't be going again for a long time.

I'll take the easy way and blame this on the 1%'ers.

Imagine the price at $15 min wage or even $10?

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