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Coakley Calls For Raising Minimum Wage

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, center, speaks with people before addressing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning. (Steven Senne/AP)

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, center, speaks with people before addressing the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning. (Steven Senne/AP)

BOSTON — At a Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce event Thursday morning, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley advocated for a hike in the state’s minimum wage, calling it a “matter of fairness.”

The attorney general said the money spent raising the state’s $8 per hour minimum wage would go right back into the economy.

“The people who are working with a small salary now who get a minimum wage increase, that goes to food and clothing and rent and all the things that will help turn this economy around,” Coakley said. “They don’t hoard it, because believe me, they can’t.”

Last November, the state Senate voted to raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2016 and tie subsequent increases to inflation. The House has yet to take up the bill.

Much of Coakley’s remarks served as a stump speech for her campaign. She also argued for better education options and creating a business-friendly climate in Massachusetts.

Fellow Democratic candidates for governor Don Berwick, Juliette Kayyem, Joe Avellone and Steve Grossman — who will address the Chamber in March — also support raising the minimum wage.

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  • maya

    I do not understand why I do not see parts of this discussion/ debate with the following content more explicitly expressed. Maybe I am missing something. In my view not mandating that corporations/ employers pay what is determined to be a “living” wage just means that the rest of the taxpayers are going to subsidize the “living” costs for many of these workers. We will pay either way as a tax payer or as a consumer.

    When a living wage for living in the respective communities is not paid then many of these employees seek other monies to support basic living needs with programs that offer services or items such as food stamps, subsidized housing and or welfare. These are not free!!! We as taxpayers pay for these items in the form of taxes. Indirectly the corporations or employers who do not seek to pay their staff a “living” wage are just passing the buck onto the next person, the taxpayer. I would rather pay to support a living wage as the consumer of whatever product or service the employer is offering, than be subsidizing the lack of a living wage through my taxes.

  • Lawrence

    Don’t remember her so concerned about the minimum wage before her bid for the governor’s office.

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