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 Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) signed into law on 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 (NCSL). The states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia. Many more - 34 states - have considered doing so, according to the NCSL.