Middle Ground Sought on Minimum Wage, Paid Leave Proposals

BOSTON (AP) — Democratic legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker are hoping to reach deals that would keep some prospective ballot questions from reaching voters in November, but they’re running short on time.

The Raise Up Massachusetts coalition has filed initiative petitions to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage from the current $11 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022, and to require paid family and medical leave for all workers.

Backers say a $15 minimum wage and paid leave would help lift many of the state’s workers out of poverty and assure they do not have to choose between their livelihoods or caring for their families.

But several business groups are opposed, claiming the measures could put some small employers out of business or force them to raise prices for consumers.

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