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Massachusetts lawmakers will hold hearing on raising minimum wage

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For the first time since 2008, state lawmakers are considering increasing the state minimum wage, setting up a showdown between advocates backing low-wage earners and business activists, both of whom feel squeezed.

A public hearing is being held by the Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development. Senate President Therese Murray, who has championed higher living wages for low-income families in recent speeches, is expected to testify.

The bill would gradually increase the minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 by 2015 and then adjust it to inflation. It would also raise the minimum wage for employees who depend on tips to 70 percent, a boost that is drawing fire from the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.

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