Connecticut’s Governor will sign a bill on Thursday evening that confirms the minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour, becoming the first in the country to meet the President’s nationwide goal.
“Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it’s also good for business,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy 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.”
The wage will be the highest for any state in the country, boosting Connecticut’s minimum wage by more than 22 percent. The wage currently rests at $8.25/hr. Lawmakers plan for the legislation to be fully implemented by 2017, with a steady rollout in payrolls until then.
“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,” said President Barrack Obama in a statement Wednesday.
The decision comes less than a month after the President visited the state in support of the hike. Looking to raise the federal wage to $10.10 from $7.25/hr, the President said he hopes Connecticut serves as a precedent to other lawmakers across the country.
The Democratic-controlled General Assembly approved the bill Wednesday night, but not without debate. Approved 21-to-14 in the Senate and 87-to-54 in the House, Republican lawmakers met the bill with resistance. House Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero Jr. (R-Norwalk) said the bill the will only be destructive, saying Connecticut is acting “schizophrenic” towards small businesses.
“We keep taking actions that keep punching them in the gut,” he said during the General Assembly meeting.
But while Connecticut’s minimum wage will be the highest for any state, it is not the highest in the country. San Francisco mandates employees be paid at least $10.74/hr and Washington D.C. plans to bring the minimum wage to $11.50/hr by 2016.
Connecticut already planned to increase the minimum wage to 9 dollars in January 2015, but this bill will slightly alter that plan. The wage will now increase to $9.15/hr, and then in 2016 go up to $9.60 an hr. The minimum wage of $10.10/hr will come into full effect on Jan 1, 2017.
Governor Malloy will sign the bill into law during a ceremony at Café Beauregard in New Britain on Thursday at 6 p.m.
To see video coverage of the topic in Westport, click here: Westport's Take on Minimum Wage
To see video of President Obama's recent visit to Connecticut in support of a $10.10 minimum wage, click here: Obama Addresses Connecticut on Minimum Wage Increase