News & Politics

Win For Workers! Connecticut Becomes First State to Pass Minimum Wage Over $10

The new bill will raise pay for almost 230,000 workers in the state.

In a move that is hoped to win over voters this fall, the Connecticut General Assembly has voted for legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017, CT Mirror reported.

The bill, which passed 87 to 54 in the House and 21 to 14 in the Senate, would raise the state minimum wage on January 1st in each of the next three years to $9.15 in 2015, $9.60 in 2016 and finally $10.10 by 2017.  This will affect some 227,000 workers in the state, which amounts to about 15 percent of the workforce.

First-term Democrat Govenor Dannel P. Malloy, is set to sign the bill into law on Thursday at the same restaurant Obama dined a few weeks ago at a minimum-wage rally.

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“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,” hesaid.

Obama also weighed in on the new bill in a statement urging other states to follow suit.

"But to truly make sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American, Congress must act," Obama said.  "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 vote comes as the White house and congressional Democrats step up their attention on minimum wage and other pocketbook issues such as the cost of college loans.

Connecticut will become the first to pass legislation establishing a $10.10 minimum wage. It is also one of the only states that has mandatory sick leave pay. Previously Washington State had the highest minimum wage at $9.32. Sadly, neither of these wages are enough to truly raise people out of poverty.

A number of other states are now considering the same increase.  Maryland’s House passed a bill that would raise its wage to $10.10 an hour earlier in the month, which the Senate will take up next week. Likewise, Delaware was the first to pass increase measures earlier this year raising its wage to $8.26, Think Progress reported.


Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.