Minimum Wage

Republican Governor Signs $15 Minimum Wage Bill in Terrible 'Grand Bargain'

The Republican governor of Massachusetts just made a deal to give away more freebies and keep taxes high.

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@MassGovernor/Twitter

On Thursday, Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a bill that will raise the minimum wage in his state to $15 an hour by 2023 and authorize a generous paid leave program. The governor's goal, it seems, was to stave off a threatened reduction in the sales tax at the ballot box.

Baker touted the legislation as a "grand bargain." But in this case, the winners are those advocating for a higher minimum wage and more mandatory paid leave for workers. The losers, on the other hand, are the voters who won't be able to decide on these issues for themselves—and the taxpayers and businesses who will have to face the consequences of the new policies alongside high sales taxes.

According to the Associated Press, had voters approved a ballot measure lowering the sales tax from 6.25 percent to 5 percent, the state would have lost about $1.2 billion a year.

By agreeing to a compromise that kept the sales tax issue off the ballot, Baker was trying to ensure the state won't lose that revenue. At the same time, he also went out of his way to keep voters from deciding whether or not they wanted to lower the state's sales tax.

The legislation will gradually raise the minimum wage from $11 an hour to $15 an hour by 2023. Tipped workers, meanwhile, will see their minimum pay increase from $3.75 an hour to $6.75 an hour over the next five years. Currently, the only other governors in the country to have signed $15 minimum wage bills into law are Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jerry Brown of California, both Democrats.

Roughly 840,000 worker will get a pay raise, according to the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. However, the bill will also eliminate time-and-a-half pay for Sundays by 2023.

Regarding the new paid leave policy, workers will be able to take as much as 12 weeks off if they need to care for either an ill family member or a new baby. They'll be allowed up to 20 weeks to deal with their own health needs. State Rep. Paul Brodeur (D–Middlesex) said it would be the most generous in the country.

Finally, the bill does not lower the state's sales tax, though it does institute an annual sales tax holiday in August.

"I am thankful that all parties came together, compromised and found common ground to produce a better set of policies than what the ballot questions represented," Baker said Thursday. "The Massachusetts workforce continues to grow with more and more people finding jobs and our administration is committed to maintaining the Commonwealth's competitive economic environment."

Though business leaders are concerned about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, some seem to think that it was better to implement an increase via a compromise rather than through a ballot measure.

"A lot of small businesses out there are fearful and angry over a potential $15-per-hour minimum wage and a new paid leave mandate, but we have to look at the reality of what we might be able to do through a compromise instead of what would occur through a ballot initiative," Jon B. Hurst, the president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe. "You don't reach compromises on the ballot. You reach compromise through the legislative process," Hurst added.

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  1. Republican Governor Signs $15 Minimum Wage Bill in Terrible ‘Grand Bargain’
    Massachusetts is a blue state so you mean RINOs did this.

    1. RINOs

      In other words, Republicans.

    2. Is there any such thing as a DINO politician? maybe in a red state somewhere?

      1. No. And do you know why? Because dinosaurs are awesome, and Democrats are pretty much never awesome.

        1. What’s your favorite dinosaur?

          1. Among herbivores, I’m partial to Triceratopses and Apatosauruses (or Brontosauruses, which sounds more like them). I also really like the Diplodocuses. As for predators, ALLOSAURUS, BITCH!

            Beyond that, I also think that the one with the club tail was pretty cool. How does that even evolve?

            1. I like the one that has the Thagomizer on its tail.

            2. You are mixing your Jurassic and Cretaceous species, son.

              1. He does what he wants. A true Libertarian.

              2. Bitch they’re all dinosaurs, be they Triassic, Jurassic, or the last one with the unspellable name.

              3. Sort of like “Jurassic” Park, eh?

      2. Bernie.

  2. There are few lower creatures on earth than New England Republicans.

    1. Oh, I can think of a few.

      1. Not many. At least New England progs are honest about who they are. NE Republicans don’t even have that going for them.

        1. How about neocons? Lindsey Graham proves that you don’t have to be from new England to be an utter piece of shit

          1. True enough.

          2. Can’t argue with that.

    2. You should put parenthesis around ‘Republicans’ when you’re referring to the RINOs in this state.

      Virtually no difference between them and the Dems.

      1. Standing athwart History, yelling “Slow down…if that does not seem uncivil and uncompromising of me”.

  3. You know who else gave too much away in a terrible bargain?

      1. Which is a myth, by the way. Neville realized that the Germans were up to no good, and signing the pact was a way to put up the facade of peace while, at home, he started to rebuild England’s military. At the time, England would have required at least two years to be in shape for a war on the continent, and the aftereffects of WWI guaranteed that practically nobody in England would have supported a preemptive strike?Churchill was an outlier by calling for war at this point. Chamberlain making the deal both made him look like he was attempting diplomacy and quite possibly bought him and England some time to prepare.

        The “peace upon the continent” statement wasn’t the smartest remark, but he wanted to make it look like he really believed Hitler when he didn’t at all. Chamberlain actually made the smart play and didn’t really give anything away to get it.

        1. You know who else knew the Germans were up to no good?

          1. Everyone watching the World Cup yesterday?

            1. German teams lose but rarely do they engage in true gag job like that. The sadder part of it is that it allowed the Mexicans, who pulled their usual gag job against Sweden, to advance. Mexican soccer fans’ tears are always the sweetest tears. Fortunately, Mexico gets Brazil in the Round of 16. So, Mexico’s record of never winning a knockout game, something even the US has managed, should remain intact.

              1. I too enjoy seeing the Mexican team getting knocked down a peg. The glowing admiration of them and their fans from the American commentators gets to be nauseating.

              2. I dunno. The Mexicans knocking out Brazil would be pretty sweet. They can lose right after that.

                1. Fair enough – I don’t like Brazil either. Unfortunately if I was a betting man I’d reluctantly put my money on them.

                  1. They are not making it past Belgium.

                2. I am kind of neutral on Brazil. Love them or hate them, you have to respect them. Mexico is just the worst. They suck but their fans think they are good. They deserve to lose and lose badly. Let Brazil lose in the next round. Anything short of a World Cup win will torture their fans anyway. But if Mexico beat Brazil, Mexican fans would not care if they lost the next round. Brazil beating Mexico and then losing in a later round is the result that creates the maximum misery.

        2. Yes. And the reason why Hitler invaded Poland is that he couldn’t believe that after not going to war for Czechoslovakia, England would go to war for Poland. It was not an unreasonable assumption on his part.

          The ability to contain Hitler was lost when the allies allowed him to militarize the Rhineland. Doing that allowed Hitler to build fortifications to protect against a French invasion. This meant that he could defend against a French invasion with very few troops giving him a free hand first in Eastern Europe and then to invade France via the low countries and the Ardennes. At the time German militarized the Rhineland, it had very little military power. After the war, the surviving German military leaders were unanimous in their belief that had the allies acted to stop them, they would have easily defeated the German military, humiliated Hitler and likely ended his regime.

          1. The troops Germany sent into the Rhineland were apparently under orders to retreat if the French made a move to stop them. The German military was rather ill-equipped to take on the French at the time. It was a complete bluff on Hitler’s part and it made him believe he could get away with anything if he blustered enough.

          2. The U.S. not being in the League of Nations is probably the main reason why Britain and France didn’t move to push the Germans out when they moved troops into the Rhineland.
            Didn’t want to face Germany without US support.

        3. The story about buying time to increase Britain’s army is a nice fairy tale when taken out of context, but in context, it did just the opposite. The Czechs had 30-40 trained divisions in good fortifications facing down Hitler; Hitler would have had to leave the French border almost unguarded to invade Czechoslovakia. By abandoning Czechoslovakia, Chamberlain basically increased the size of Hitler’s army by all those divisions he would have needed to invade Czechoslovakia.

          1. He also gave him a huge amount of military equipment that allowed him to expand the German Army at a much faster rate than he would have otherwise.

            But Chamberlin made up for it by advocating for negotiated surrender after France fell.

          2. Exactly. Hitler’s generals didn’t want him going into Czechoslovakia for good reason. Not only did hitler’s army increase, but a lot of military industry was gained. Germans were in a lot better military position post Czech abandonment.

            Yet, I keep seeing that nonsense pop up about how smart chamberlain really was.

    1. Napolean, when selling Louisiana to Jefferson?

  4. “‘You don’t reach compromises on the ballot. You reach compromise through the legislative process,’ Hurst added.”

    Translation: “Cronying with millions of voters is too HARD…”

  5. Christ, what a Masshole.

    1. As advertised…

    2. He’s a Boston bitch

        1. Is there any other kind?

  6. Republican politician makes terrible policy. Still literally Hitler. News at 11

    1. Massachusetts can elect a Republican governor when Democrats are divided, or put up a terrible candidate (eg Martha Coakley in 2014). Apart from that, however, the State is solidly Democratic, including veto-proof majorities in both houses of the legislature. (Though, as is common in one-party states, moderate and opposition voters participate in the ruling-party primary, pushing the legislative caucus toward the center. The Speaker [senior legislator] of the House is a centrist.)

      State referenda to increase the minimum wage increases have done well nationwide in recent years. There was no reason to believe Massachusetts would be an exception.

  7. Bette Midler is on Twitter today saying that Trump is a fascist who is dismantling every branch of government. I don’t think she understands how this works.

    1. I’m mad because it’s not true and I wish that it was.

      1. Me too. If only Republicans could ever live up to the charges Progs hurl against them, we would all have a merry Christmas indeed.

        1. See, that’s not fair because the progs DO live up to the charges the right throws at them.

          1. Well, or live down to them…

      2. “”dismantling every branch of government.””

        The branches are Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The branches aren’t the problem. Midler obviously doesn’t understand American government at all if she believes Trump is dismantling them. He has done nothing to dismantle Congress, the courts. At best he is trying to dismantle some of the departments under the Executive branch. Someone may call that dismantling the Executive, but Trump is not trying to do away with the presidency.

        But I could understand how people who think the president is closer to a king and thinks there word is law sees it as such.

        1. there word – their word.

          Before the grammer socialist come after me.

        2. I can’t seem to find the list of Departments he has dismantled.

  8. “Dad, can we have a vote to see where we go to eat tonight?”

    “Let’s compromise. You can cook dinner tonight, and I will be reducing your allowance by 20%”

    “How is that a compromise?”

    “Ask Massachusetts.”

    1. I’m glad you provided this analogy. All of mine were way less wholesome.

    2. More like, “let’s compromise. We can go to your favorite restaurant, and you can eat dessert first, and I’ll raise your allowance, and you can skip school any 9 weeks during the year you want. And Mom will pay for it.”

  9. My former employer was already having a difficult time hiring workers in the Boston area, at $14/hr for people who could do physical work and pass a criminal background check, credit check, and drug test. It was all but impossible to find workers at that rate already, but paying more would require them to charge more for services, which would raise the cost of living in the area, which would make idiot proglodytes demand more money for a living wage, etc

    This will increase the flow of Bay State rats fleeing their sinking ship of a state to usher in the destruction of New Hampshire.

    1. Nashua and Manchester are already Lowell North.

      1. And crawling north every chance they get.

      2. And crawling north every chance they get.

    2. Remember the state has For D’s representing it now. Maybe if the state would crack down on the College pukes from Mass and Vermont who register to vote while they are in the state it wouldn’t happen.

    3. Not to mention paying them to not work for 3 or 4 months per year.

  10. Spoiler: there are no actual elected Republicans in Massachusetts

  11. You know who else was a Republican governor of Massachusetts?

  12. The very fact higher minimum wages are super popular should tell you exactly how much American’s care about illegal immigrant workers. Not all, is the answer.

    1. *Not at all

      Geez.

  13. Who said Republican politicians don’t like poor people? He just made a lot more people poor.

  14. The Massachusetts sales tax is on the lower end of the spectrum, no “high sales taxes” as you state. I wonder how much businesses save from not having to pay time-and-a-half on Sundays and holidays, I don’t believe this was published. Massachusetts continues to strike a good balance between reasonable taxes and responsible government policy.

  15. I could see Baker challenging Trump.

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