STATE HOUSE -- The House Committee on Ways and Means began polling members by email Tuesday night on its minimum wage increase and unemployment insurance reform package.

The bill (H 3983) raises the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour by 2016 from the current minimum wage of $8 per hour.

The Senate passed legislation (S 1925) in November raising the minimum wage to $11 per hour by 2016 and hitching future increases to inflation. In February the Senate also passed an unemployment insurance bill (S 2003).

The branches have been in a procedural dispute, and the Senate tied up an attempt by House leadership to report the bill out of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee after a March 19 deadline. House Chairman of Labor and Workforce Development Tom Conroy said the new legislation is a re-draft of a different House bill granting rights to domestic workers.

Visit to read the full text of the bill.