The Massachusetts Senate has approved a compromise bill that would hike the state's current $8-per-hour minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2017, but would not tie future increases to inflation.
The 35-4 vote on 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.
The measure would raise the minimum hourly wage to $9 on Jan. 1, 2015, $10 the following year, and finally to $11 on Jan. 1, 2017.
Jon Hurst, head of the state's retailers association, warned the bill could drive some stores out of business.
The group Raise Up Massachusetts called the compromise a positive step, but did not immediately say whether it would withdraw a minimum wage question from the November state ballot.