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      Minimum wage to climb to $9 beginning in 2015

      RI Statehouse

      Rhode Island's minimum wage is going up by $1 an hour to $9 starting in January.

      Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the legislation into law this week. It was sponsored by Sen. Erin Lynch and Rep. Dave Bennett.

      An earlier version in the General Assembly raised the wage $1 in each of the next two years, and then indexed increases after that to inflation.

      Supporters said the current minimum is not a "living wage," though critics maintained an increase could harm small businesses.

      In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick last month signed a bill that will raise the state's $8 minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2017. The first increase, to $9 an hour, will take effect on Jan. 1.

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