Senate President: Mass needs to debate living wage

(AP) — Senate President Therese Murray says the state needs to have a conversation about what constitutes a living wage in Massachusetts.

In speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, the Plymouth Democrat notes that lawmakers in Maine recently approved a bill that would raise the state’s minimum wage to $9 per hour by 2016, adjusting it annually for inflation after that.

In Massachusetts, the minimum wage has been $8 per hour since 2008 and isn’t automatically adjusted to inflation.

Murray said by identifying what a living wage is in Massachusetts, the state can have a positive impact on families, and especially single parents.

In the speech, Murray also said the Department of Transitional Assistance should shift its focus to training, education, and job placement for welfare recipients.

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