‘Gamesmanship’ Leads To Embarrassing Delay For Mass. Minimum Wage Bill

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s minimum wage bill was scheduled to be released Thursday, but it’s hit a roadblock.

Deleo’s minimum wage bill has suffered an embarrassing delay. The House committee which was preparing the bill missed a deadline by one day. And now the Senate won’t grant an extension.

Robert Hedlund, a Republican on the committee says he’s seen this kind of thing before.

“Just some gamesmanship right now between the House and the Senate on this issue,” says Hedlund.

Senate President Therese Murray has been leading the charge on a minimum wage hike. She put it on the fast track in her chamber. The Senate approved an $11 minimum wage last year, and passed business-friendly changes to the unemployment insurance system in February.

The House has not acted on the Senate bills, instead deciding in recent weeks to start from scratch.

The top Democrat on that House committee, Tom Conroy, blames the Senate for the delay. He calls the move “insider, petty politics at its worst.” But state Sen. Dan Wolf points out the house has had months to act.

Leaders in both chambers are now considering their next steps for the minimum wage and unemployment insurance proposals.

State House News Service and New England Public Radio’s Sam Hudzik contributed to this report.