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Sarah R. Bratko, Esq.
Vice President of Advocacy and General Counsel
401-223-1120, ext. 115
Rhode Island's minimum wage rose to $8 an hour on Wednesday, but organized labor says it will call on lawmakers to raise it even higher in the legislative session that opens Tuesday. George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, said his organization, which is an umbrella group for local labor unions, will seek a new minimum wage "in the range of $8.50 to $9" an hour. The state's largest business association, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, says it will push for reducing or eliminating the state's corporate, estate and franchise taxes while strongly opposing any increases or expansions of the state's income or sales tax. Laurie White, the Chamber's president, said her organization supports reducing the corporate income tax rate from 9 percent to 7 percent, as Governor Chafee had proposed last year in his budget. As a way to encourage start-up companies, she says the Chamber supports eliminating or reducing the $500 minimum business corporation tax for new companies in their first three years of existence.