If legislation to raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts to $15 an hour is not enacted in coming weeks there will be plenty of people to blame and they are all Democrats.  A bill to increase the minimum from the current $11 has been languishing in committee all year and is facing a rapidly approaching February 7th deadline to be reported out or it dies on the vine.

Lets be clear, I do not support a $15 minimum but lots of folks do including oodles of Democrat state lawmakers.  Now, since the party of the people has a death grip on power on Beacon Hill this would seems to be a no brainer, right?  Not so fast.  Seems that while the politicians have been greasing the squeaky voter by vowing support for the higher wage, their leaders have been secretly meeting with the enemy, those greedy business people who say another wage hike could put them out of business.

Business leaders have long maintained the a $15 minimum wage coupled with the taxes and regulations that already make it nearly possible to survive in Massachusetts could push them over the edge.  Don't be shocked if after the first of the year some sort of compromise is announced.

There is hope for those who believe that Walmart greeters deserve to earn more than home health care aids.  The Raise Up Massachusetts Coalition has enough signatures to potentially force a ballot initiative on the pay issue in 2018.  That would save the elected hacks from actually having to go on the record on the issue by leaving the heavy lifting to you the voter.

However this turns out just remember, it was the labor friendly Democrats, not the Republicans or President Trump who let this bill collect dust in committee.

Take that to the polls with you next year.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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