Example of legislative testimony provided on behalf of NASW-MA during the 2013-2014 legislative session:
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Testimony in Support of H1701/S878: An Act to Improve the Commonwealth's Economy with a Strong Minimum Wage
June 11, 2013
From: Rebekah Gewirtz, NASW MA Chapter Director of Government Relations and Political Action
To: Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development
Dear Honorable Members of Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development,
On behalf of NASW -Massachusetts Chapter, a statewide membership association of 8,300 Social Workers, we would like to express our strong support for HB1701/SB878. Passage of this legislation would raise the minimum wage from its current rate of $8.00per hour to $11 per hour and index it to inflation.
HB1702/SB878is important to NASW because we believe that those who work hard and play by the rules should be paid a decent, living wage --free from poverty. A raise to$11per hour would mean increased opportunity and equity for more than a quarter of a million low-wage workers like childcare providers, health care aides, janitors, and security guards. And improved economic circumstances for the clients and communities served by social workers.
Many economists also suggest that increasing the minimum wage improves the economy. As low wage workers have more income, they spend on necessities they couldn’t previously afford. In addition, indexing the minimum wage to inflation helps workers stay out of poverty over the long run since inflation will not eat away at their earnings.
Social Workers have long been on the forefront of efforts to reduce poverty and promote fair and equitable workplace practices. We recognize that mental health and substance abuse problems are often the result of poverty and hopelessness and as a result, we strongly believe in preventative programs that help people get ahead in society. Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation is one way for the state to help residents meet their basic needs and have the opportunity to more adequately provide for their families.
We can do better in Massachusetts and raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation is one simple and predictable way to improve the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.
We strongly urge you to report this legislation favorably as expeditiously as possible.