Baker Signs ‘Grand Bargain’ Bill to Avert Ballot Initiatives

(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill that would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and require paid family and medical leave for all workers.

The so-called “grand bargain” also mandates an annual summer sales tax holiday.

The compromise was designed to keep several ballot questions away from voters in November, including a proposal to cut the state sales tax.

In a statement, Baker said he was thankful that all parties came together on “a better set of policies than what the ballot questions represented.”

The paid leave provisions would be financed by a new payroll tax on employers.

Workers would be allowed to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a family member and 20 weeks for their own medical needs.

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