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Groups Seek To Put Minimum Wage On Mass. Ballot

Supporters of a higher minimum wage for Massachusetts workers say they'll go directly to the voters next year if lawmakers don't act first.

The state's current minimum wage is $8 an hour and hasn't been increased since 2008.

A coalition of groups called Raise Up Massachusetts also wants to enact a statewide earned sick time policy.

Senate President Therese Murray has signaled her desire to bring up a minimum wage bill, though she has not yet backed any specific proposal.

Business groups that oppose a higher minimum wage say the added costs could ultimately hurt workers by making Massachusetts less competitive.

Minimum wage supporters say if lawmakers don't act by the ballot question filing deadline of August 7, they'll try to put both issues before voters on next year's state ballot.

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.