Assembly approves minimum wage hike to $9

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's minimum wage is headed for a $1 an hour increase under legislation approved in the General Assembly that the governor has said he will sign.

The House on Wednesday approved a bill to increase the state's minimum to $9 beginning in January. The Senate had already passed it.

Supporters said the current minimum isn't a living wage and that many people are working two or three minimum wage jobs to make ends meet.

Critics including Republican Rep. Patricia Morgan said raising it would cost jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector, and that the wage is meant to be "entry-level."

An earlier version of the General Assembly raised the wage $1 in each of the next two years, and then indexed increases beyond that to inflation.

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