PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI)- Governor Gina Raimondo has given thousands of Rhode Island residents a raise.
The governor signed a bill into law yesterday that raises the state’s tipped minimum wage from $2.89 an hour to $3.89 an hour over the next year and a half. This is Rhode Island’s first increase in the tipped minimum wage in 20 years. The state currently has the lowest wage for tipped workers in all of New England.Governor Raimondo says the increase will help more than 22,000 tipped workers in the state. “These are hard-working people. They deserve a livable wage. My job is to make Rhode Island a place of opportunity for everybody and, if you work full-time, you shouldn’t live in poverty. So, I feel great that we increased the minimum wage,” said Raimondo.
Advocates for restaurant workers say the increase still does not go far enough.
“Even with this increase, servers are still going to be paid 31% of the full minimum wage, which is still less. That’s a second tier and that’s unacceptable in a democratic society, right?,” said Michael Araujo of ROC United.
Governor Raimondo says the change will be easier on local businesses since the dollar increase is spread out over 18 months.
WPRI 12 Eyewitness News