(NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - The debate over raising the minimum wage was front and center Thursday in Massachusetts.
The state Senate has approved a compromise bill to raise the state minimum wage from $8 an hour to $11 an hour by 2017. The agreement would also raise the tip wage from $2.63 to $3.75 over that same time period, but it would not tie future increases to inflation.
The 35-4 vote Thursday came less than 24 hours after House and Senate negotiators hammered out a deal on the minimum wage. A House vote is expected next week.
Minimum wage advocates rallied in three Massachusetts cities Thursday to call for a even bigger hike, while the Massachusetts Restaurant Association called this a dramatic increase and cautioned businesses would be affected if the minimum wage went any higher.