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AP News

Rhode Island minimum wage to rise 25 cents

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's minimum wage will go up by a quarter to $8 per hour next year.

The state's minimum wage is now $7.75, compared with the federal minimum of $7.25, while the minimum wage is $8 in Massachusetts and $8.25 in Connecticut.

The increase goes into effect Jan. 1. It was approved by lawmakers last month. Gov. Lincoln Chafee announced Monday night that he had signed the legislation into law.

Supporters of the raise said many Rhode Islanders are forced to work multiple minimum-wage jobs to afford rent, food and transportation. Opponents worry the increase may force small business owners to hire fewer workers.

Lawmakers approved a 35-cent increase last year, the first time the minimum wage had been raised since 2007.

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