the Restaurateur Rhode Island Approves 2018 Minimum Wage Increase August 17, 2017 Rhode Island Employers.... minimum wage will increase 50 cents in 2018! On January 1, 2018 the minimum wage in Rhode Island will increase to $10.10. After a month long impasse, the House and Senate of the Ocean State approved the budget, with Governor Gina Raimondo signing it into law earlier last week. More about the increase The minimum wage for Rhode Island employees is currently $9.60 per hour, but will increase $0.50 starting in 2018. It will eventually rise from $10.10 to $10.50 on January 1, 2019. The Rhode Island Hospitality Association, in conjunction with the RI Business Coalition, advocated for a two year phase-in at $0.50 per year, citing the business community’s need for time to adjust. In the meantime, employers should prepare for this upcoming change by analyzing how the increase will affect their budgets and forecasts. Can we expect updates to this? The House and Senate are expected to meet in the fall sessions— we could see a paid sick leave bill get raised once again. What other things were addressed in the budget? The $9.2-billion budget passed by a 30-5 vote in the House and Senate. The Governor immediately signed it into law and cleared the way for a car-tax phase-out, free Public Transit Authority bus passes to the poor & disabled, free community college tuition, and more money for early childhood education. Governor Raimondo stated: “This is a Jobs Budget, with a lot in it to help Rhode Islanders.” For more information, don’t hesitate to contact us.