To the editor:

As one of state Sen. Katy O’Connor Ives’ earliest supporters, I am grateful for her superb leadership on Beacon Hill! She is continuing her efforts to get everyone together and make progress on the issues rather than getting stuck in quagmires.

I think she did exactly the right thing last year by both working to help those who earn a minimum wage while also supporting our small businesses that generate the vast majority of new jobs in our economy.

Increasing the minimum wage by $3 in three years could put family-owned businesses in a tough spot, while big businesses can absorb the increased costs, thanks to their infrastructure advantages. That’s especially true in border communities.

I know from talking to her that Katy wants to see the minimum wage go up and go up quickly. It was truly refreshing to see Katy propose a solution that would create a tiered wage system to help those small businesses compete while simultaneously raise the minimum wage for workers.

It’s too bad the rest of the Legislature didn’t listen.

It has been six years since the minimum wage was raised, and despite all the discussion in recent months, it still hasn’t gone up.

Here’s hoping for more elected officials like Katy who are willing to act with great independence and integrity to try and see actual change.

Neil Bleicken

Newburyport

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