Feb 4, 2014
05:52 PM
Connecticut Politics

Gov. Malloy Proposes Increasing Minimum Wage

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy sought to jumpstart the state’s path to raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which would make it the highest in the nation, with a proposal that would amend already existing plans to raise the working wage.

The governor’s proposal would set the minimum wage at $10.10 in January 2017 as part of a three-year plan to phase in increases. The state already has a plan in place to increase the minimum wage, now set at $8.70 in January of this year, but Malloy’s plan would extend that increase and make the proposed incremental increases larger.

Malloy’s plan mirrored the goal addressed by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address last week, but said the state could not wait for Congress to enact legislation doing so.

“I hope that that’s effective. However, I do not think Connecticut should wait when it comes to lifting people out of poverty. Connecticut must be a leader as it has always been,” Malloy said in the announcement at CT Works.

Connecticut’s workforce is made up of 1.7 million people, 70,000 to 90,000 of them earning minimum wage.

“In this day and age, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty. When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers. The modest boost that we are helping to bring about in our state will allow families to make ends meet,” Malloy said.

Malloy said the health of the state’s economy is improving, and corporate profits have risen — making now the right time to work to strengthen the middle class.

Asked whether businesses might hire fewer people if wages increase, Malloy said he believes there are other factors that lead to employers hiring fewer workers, such as technology.

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman said increasing the minimum wage is a way to help individuals hit hardest by the recession and to contribute to helping the economy.

“We of course need to find a balance between the proper minimum wage for workers and not placing undue burden on the employers. This phase in will do just that — will not put any kind of burden on our employers and it will start to really help those people that work the hardest,” she said.

Malloy said this proposal, combined with other initiatives throughout the state, is an attempt to “move as many people as rapidly to the middle class as we can.”

Asked by a reporter if this election-year announcement looks like he is trying to buy votes, Malloy said no.

“What it should look like is I’m trying to do the right thing,” he said.

Gov. Malloy Proposes Increasing Minimum Wage

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