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Governor Baker signs "Grand Bargain" to avoid Ballot Questions
Thursday, July 12, 2018 -


On Thursday, June 28, 2018 the Governor signed into law Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2018 labeled the “grand bargain” that eliminated three ballot initiatives which would have otherwise been decided – and most likely approved - by voters of the Commonwealth during the November elections.  The Governor did not veto or change the proposal he was presented.  Specifics of the new law that passed compared to each ballot question that could have been posed to voters in November include:


Raising the states minimum wage (presently $11/hour):

NEW LAW Requirements                                                           Proposed Ballot Requirements           


Increase - $1 in 1/1/2019, 75¢/year                                           Increase - $1 annual increase 1/1/2019


 annually beginning 1/1/2020 – 1/1/2023.                                Over 4 years ending at $15/hour 2022.           



Premium pay - phased out at:                                                   Premium pay - remained.

1/1/2019 at 1.4 x minimum wage;

1/1/2020 at 1.3 x minimum wage;

1/1/2021 at 1.2 x minimum wage;

1/1/2022 at 1.1 x minimum wage;

1/1/2023 no premium pay.                                                                                                                                               


CPI - NO increases.                                                                         CPI - Annual indexing beginning 2023. 

Holiday pay – Summer holidays decreased                           Holiday pay – premium pay remained.

at premium pay rates, all premium holidays

to be included by 1/1/19.                                                                                                                                       


Establishing Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Program:

NEW LAW Requirements                                                           Proposed Ballot Requirements           

Maximum - 26 weeks combined leave/benefit year.             Maximum – Same.                                   

Opt-out option - if benefits are equal or                                 Opt-out option – None, mandatory.

greater than state requirements for duration of leave.                                                                                              


Medical leave contribution Initial rate 63%, then         Medical leave contribution .63%

minimum 60% of employee’s wages from employer.              of employee’s wages, of which 50% come

.                                                                                                           from employee wages, adjusted annually.


Family leave contribution – 0% from employer                Family leave contribution from

                                                                                                            Medical leave contribution funding.           

Medical leave duration – 20 weeks.                                      Medical leave duration – 26 weeks.           


Family leave duration - 12 weeks (26 for serious).                         Family leave duration - 16 weeks.           


Wage replacement If earns up to 50% state average        Wage replacement - 90% of wages,

weekly wage ($670), then 80% benefits.            If over 50%                $1,000 cap/week, then 50% on wage

average weekly wage, then 50% benefits. Cap on                      benefits.

Benefits at $850/week 1st year, 64% after that.                                                                                                


Effective dates:                                                                             Effective dates:

July 2019 contributions begin,                                                     July 2019 contributions and coverage

January 1, 2021 personal medical benefits begin,                     begin.

July 1, 2021 family benefits begin.                                                           July 1, 2021 family benefits begin.

Posted By : Megan Servello

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