RUM Launches Legislative Campaign

As anticipated, Raised Up Massachusetts (RUM) has launched legislative campaigns that they feel would help build an economy that works for all people in Massachusetts.

A coalition of community organizations, religious groups and labor unions, the group hopes to place several bills on the books that call for paid family and medical leave, a $15 minimum wage increase and a Fair Share Amendment to create an additional tax of four percent points on annual income above one million dollars, with the money dedicated to transportation and public education.

The coalition has a wide-based public information campaign at a state level and will lobby the Governor and the Legislature to pass their bills.

Paid family and medical leave would make employees in the state eligible for job-protected paid leave to recover from a serious illness or injury, to take care of a seriously ill or injured family member, or to take care of a new child.

The legislation prohibits employer retaliation against workers who take time off under these conditions.

RUM’s $15 minimum wage legislation would raise state’s minimum wage by one dollar each year over four years until 2021.

The minimum wage would then be adjusted each year to rise along with increases in the cost of living.

The legislation would also increase the sub- minimum wage for tipped employees, currently $3.75 an hour, over eight years until it is equal to the regular minimum wage.

The Fair Share Amendment would amend the Massachusetts Constitution to create an additional tax of four percentage points on annual income above $1 million.

The new revenue generated by the tax, approximately $1.9 billion in 2019 dollars, could only be spent on quality public education, affordable public colleges and universities and the repair and maintenance of roads, bridges and public transportation.

To ensure that the tax continues to apply only to the highest-income residents, the $1 million threshold would be adjusted each year to reflect cost-of-living increases.

In 2015, RUN collected over 157,000 signatures to begin the process of amending the Massachusetts Constitution, all without using paid signature gathering companies. In May 2016, the state legislature, meeting jointly in a Constitutional Convention, voted 135-57 to advance the citizen’s initiative proposal.

            The initiative now needs a second approval by 25 percent of legislators in a Joint Session of the Legislature in 2017 or 2018 to appear on the ballot on November 6, 2018.