Mar 26, 2014
04:40 PM
Connecticut Politics

Connecticut's General Assembly Passes Legislation Raising Minimum Wage

Connecticut's minimum wage will increase incrementally to $10.10 by 2017, after legislation was passed by the overwhelming majority of Democrats in both the Senate and House of Representatives.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will sign the bill Thursday, according to his office, at Cafe Beauregard. The New Britain restaurant is the spot where Malloy and Obama and other Democratic governors from New England ate prior to Obama's speech at Central Connecticut State University calling Congress and individual states to raise the minimum wage. 

“I am proud that Connecticut is once again a leader on an issue of national importance. Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it’s also good for business,” Malloy said in a statement. “This modest increase will give working families a boost, and it will contribute to our economy by getting just a little more money into the pockets of people who will spend it in their communities."

Republicans in Connecticut and across the nation oppose raising the minimum wage, fearing negative impacts on businesses. 

Obama suggested a federal increase in the wage during his State of the Union, an idea quickly picked up by Malloy who suggested Connecticut take the lead on the issue rather than wait for Congress to act. Democrats in Connecticut and throughout the country have already begun making the proposal an election-year issue. 

News of the legislation's passing today earned kudos from the White House-- though the President reiterated the need for Congress to pass similar legislation on the federal level.

"Today, the Connecticut Legislature took an important step towards raising the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and giving more Connecticut workers the raise they deserve," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "When I visited Connecticut earlier this month I was joined by Governor Malloy and three of his fellow New England governors, who represent just a few of the many states, cities, and counties across our country working to raise their minimum wages.  I support these efforts, and I commend Governor Malloy for his leadership.  But to truly make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American, Congress must act.  I hope Members of Congress, governors, state legislators and business leaders across our country will follow Connecticut’s lead to help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the chance to get ahead."

The Senate first passed the bill 21 to 14, followed by the House of Representatives 87-54. 

A Quinnipiac University poll released last month showed Connecticut voters approved raising the minimum wage by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. 

The new legislation will increase the minimum wage in 2015 to $9.15, $9.60 in 2016 and to $10.10 in 2017. The state already had existing legislation to raise the minimum wage, which was set at $8.70 an hour in January of this year. 

Connecticut's General Assembly Passes Legislation Raising Minimum Wage

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