Rejected

2nd Redraft 17

Strengthening Economic Independence

Messrs. Tarr and Ross moved that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in place thereof the following:-

SECTION 1. Chapter 29 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:-

Section 2JJJJ. There is hereby established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Living Wage Empowerment Fund, hereinafter called the fund. The fund shall be administered by the commissioner of revenue. Amounts credited to the fund shall be expended, without further appropriation, to taxpayers who receive a tax credit under section 6(h) of chapter 62 and have 1 or more qualifying dependent children.

The commissioner shall provide taxpayers with 1 or more qualifying dependent children 20 per cent of the amount said person qualified for, claimed, and received under section 6(h) of chapter 62.

The department of revenue shall be the administrator of the fund and shall maintain the fund as a separate fund and shall cause it to be audited by an independent accountant on an annual basis in accordance with generally-accepted accounting principles.

There shall be credited to the fund any revenue from appropriations or other monies authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund, and any gifts, grants, private contributions, investment income earned on the fund's assets and all other sources, including federal funds for the temporary assistance to needy families program. Money remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

The fund shall supplement and not replace existing credits received under section 6(h) of chapter 62.

SECTION 2. Section 1 of chapter 151 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 5, the figure “8.00” and inserting in place thereof the following figure :- 8.75.

SECTION 3. Said section 1 of said chapter 151 is hereby further amended by striking out the figure “8.75”, inserted by section 2, and inserting in place thereof the following figure :- 9.50

SECTION 4. Said section 1 of said chapter 151, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 12, the figure “.10” and inserting in place thereof the following figure:-.50

SECTION 5. Said Section 1 of said chapter 151, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by adding the following sentence:-

Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, no wage rate greater than $1.00 per hour more than the effective federal minimum rate shall be presumed to be oppressive or unreasonable if the employer provides the wage collector “minimum credible coverage” under section 1 of chapter 111M.

SECTION 6. The minimum wage shall be reviewed every two years beginning July 1, 2016, by the secretary of administration and finance, in consultation with the secretary of housing and economic development, and the secretary of labor and workforce development, to recommend to the governor and the General Court any changes to the minimum wage, effective January 1st. Such recommendations shall consider but not be limited to the following factors: the rate of inflation, the minimum wage in other states, the commonwealth’s competitiveness, the status of the commonwealth’s labor market, the commonwealth’s teen unemployment, the effectiveness of increasing the minimum wage in helping the target population and there shall be at least 3 public hearings held in various geographic regions in the commonwealth.

SECTION 7. The secretary of labor and workforce development, in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance and the secretary of housing and economic development, shall study the impact of the minimum wage rate and minimum wage rate increases as they relate to New England City and Town Area’s (NECTAs) and Labor Market Areas (LMAs) in Massachusetts. The study shall analyze the cost of living in said NECTAs and LMAs and the effective minimum wage rate adjusted for the cost of living in said NECTAs and LMAs, detailing the impact of minimum wage rates on employment, the ability of employers to hire additional employees, and the effectiveness of the minimum wage rate at reducing poverty and helping financial independence. The report, together with any legislative recommendations, shall be filed electronically with the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and the joint committee on labor and workforce development not later than May 15, 2014.

SECTION 8. There is hereby established a living wage commission to address poverty reduction and ensuring all workers are provided with a wage allowing them to live a healthy and financially independent lifestyle. The commission shall consist of the following members or their appointees: the secretary of labor and workforce development, the secretary of administration and finance, the secretary of housing and economic development, the senate president, the speaker of the house of representatives, the senate minority leader and the minority leader of the house of representatives. The commission shall issue a report on an appropriate wage rate to ensure that employees can afford the cost of living in their geographic area and a healthy and financially independent lifestyle. Said report shall be submitted to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate and filed not later than June 15, 2014.

SECTION 9. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, following any increase in the minimum wage the secretary of labor and workforce development shall report on the impact of said increase on employment in the commonwealth, impacts on businesses, particularly small businesses in the commonwealth, and success of increasing the minimum wage in helping the target population. Said report shall be submitted to the clerks of the house and senate, and the joint committee on labor and workforce development within one year of an increase in the minimum wage.

SECTION 10. SECTION 1 shall take effect September 1, 2014

SECTION 11. Section 2 and 4 shall take effect April 1, 2014.

SECTION 12. Section 3 shall take effect April 1, 2015.