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Senate moves minimum wage proposal forward

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 6:31 a.m. MDT

President Barack Obama speak about increasing the minimum wage, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.  (Associated Press) President Barack Obama speak about increasing the minimum wage, Wednesday, April 30, 2014, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (Associated Press)

BOSTON — The state Senate has approved a bill that would increase the state's minimum wage while also offering business-friendly changes in the state's unemployment insurance.

Thursday's action by the Senate was largely an attempt by Democratic leaders to break a procedural logjam with the House and allow negotiations to begin over an increase in the $8 per hour minimum wage, which has not changed in the past five years.

The Senate bill would raise the wage to $11 per hour over three years and tie future increases to inflation.

A bill passed by the House would bring the hourly wage to $10.50 over three years, but without indexing hikes to inflation.

The Senate had previously approved both the minimum wage and unemployment insurance measures, but as separate bills.

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