The Senate today passed legislation that would increase Rhode Island’s minimum wage from $11.50 to $15 over a four-year period.
The bill (2021-S 0001aa) would increase the minimum wage to $12.25 on Jan. 1, 2022; raise it to $13 on Jan. 1, 2023; raise it to $14 on Jan. 1, 2024; and finally to $15 on Jan. 1, 2025.
“This legislation will go a long way toward breaking the cycle of poverty that has ensnared so many of Rhode Island’s families,” said Senator Ana B. Quezada, the bill’s sponsor. “A living wage will not only help people who work full time from living in poverty, it will also ease the demand on public assistance and bolster the state’s economy by ensuring that families have the income required to meet their basic needs.”
The minimum wage in Rhode Island has been $11.50 since Oct. 1, 2020. In Massachusetts, the minimum wage is currently $13.50, but is scheduled to rise to $15 by Jan. 1, 2023.
The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where similar legislation (2021-H 5130) has been introduced.