Rhode Island last week joined 11 other states that plan to raise their minimum wage to at least $9 over the next several years.
At the start of next year, the state minimum wage will rise a buck to $9 an hour, according to a new measure Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed into law Thursday.
Only three states currently have a minimum wage of at least $9. Washington’s is highest at $9.32, followed by Oregon’s minimum wage at $9.10. California’s rose to $9 earlier this week. When Rhode Island’s new rate goes into effect, it will be joined by three others: The minimum wage in Massachusetts will rise to $9, while that in Vermont and Connecticut will jump to $9.15. In all but three — Minnesota, Michigan and New York — the minimum wages will be above $10.
By 2018, 12 states will have reached or surpassed the $9 level. Ten states and the District of Columbia have enacted increases this year alone, according to a list maintained by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The states are Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. According to the NCSL, 34 more states have considered doing so.