Massachusetts business leaders are signaling possible support for an increase in the state's $8 per hour minimum wage, but only if it is coupled with business-friendly reforms in the state's unemployment insurance system.
The state Senate approved a stand-alone bill last week that would raise the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2016.
Taxes on gasoline and cigarettes are set to increase after Massachusetts lawmakers voted to override Governor Deval Patrick's veto of a transportation financing bill.
The bill contains a 3 cent per gallon hike in the gas tax, along with a $1 per pack increase in the cigarette tax. Those tax hikes are scheduled to take effect in seven days.
Patrick vetoed the bill after lawmakers rejected his demand to add a provision allowing for an additional gas tax hike if tolls on the western portion of the Massachusetts Turnpike come down as scheduled in 2017.