Governor Dannel P. Malloy today lauded the Connecticut General Assembly's Labor Committee, led by State Senator Gary Holder-Winfield and State Representative Peter Tercyak, for approving legislation he introduced that will increase the state's minimum wage to $10.10, mirroring recent efforts by President Barack Obama and other Congressional leaders to raise the federal minimum wage to that same amount.
The favorable committee vote comes one day prior to the President's scheduled visit to New Britain for an event on the minimum wage and the importance of giving hardworking Americans the raise they deserve.
"For too long, the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living. In this day and age, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty," Governor Malloy said. "This is money that goes right back into the economy. When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers. This is an important public policy issue that clearly has had bipartisan support in the past, and there's no reason why there should not be bipartisan support for it now."
Governor Malloy also commended Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio for signing a local ordinance earlier today that increases the minimum wage for municipal employees and contractors working for the City of New London to $10.10 an hour. "I applaud Mayor Finizio and the City of New London for taking steps that will help increase the momentum in our efforts to raise the minimum wage both on the state level and nationally," the Governor said.
Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, "Raising the minimum wage is an important step in promoting economic security for all of Connecticut's working families, particularly the 127,000 working women who would benefit from this increase -- women who are trying to support themselves and their children on about $350 per week. I applaud the Labor Committee on moving this bill forward. It strikes a good balance for working families and business in Connecticut, and it will help provide for women's future economic security."
"The majority of workers earning the minimum wage are not teenagers at summer jobs, but are adults trying to provide for themselves or their families," Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn) said. "One of the best ways to improve conditions for low-wage workers is to modestly raise the minimum wage and help lift thousands of workers out of poverty."
Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said, "Just two years ago, right here in Connecticut, we helped kick-off a nationwide discussion of a $10 minimum wage. In support of the thousands of struggling working families in our state, and the hundreds of millions of dollars that would be added to our economy, we are proud to lead this conversation again."
"Across Connecticut there is strong support to address income inequality," Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) said. "People working fulltime jobs should receive a wage that allows them to care for their families. A low minimum wage forces the government to subsidize the cost of employment while privatizing the profits. As a result, the costs are shifted to government in the form of aid to low-wage workers."
"I applaud President Obama and Governor Malloy for their leadership on such an important issue," House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington) said. "Hardworking families and their children deserve a fair wage for an honest day's work."