Governor Dannel P. Malloy today signed legislation into law that will increase Connecticut's minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017.
"This legislation is about making sure that people working full-time and supporting families aren't living in poverty," Governor Malloy said. "The extra money that these folks earn will be put back into our economy and help our communities. I am proud that Connecticut is once again a leader on an issue of national importance."
Last year, Governor Malloy signed a bill into law that increased the state minimum wage on January 1, 2014 from $8.25 to $8.70. The new law the Governor signed today will raise the minimum wage by an additional 45 cents to $9.15 on January 1, 2015, followed by another 45-cent increase to $9.60 on January 1, 2016, and then finally requires a 50-cent increase to $10.10 effective January 1, 2017.
"In signing this bill, Governor Malloy positioned Connecticut as a state that is truly committed to its workforce," said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. "I applaud the Governor, our legislative leaders, and the General Assembly for their efforts to ensure that our minimum wage earners -- 56 percent of whom are women -- can build economic stability for themselves and their children. Moreover, this legislation will help 125,000 hardworking Connecticut women who earn at or just above the minimum wage put food on the table, pay rent, and create a better life for their families."
"Three weeks to the day after President Obama's visit to New Britain, the Connecticut General Assembly sent a message that it values its hardworking residents," said Senate President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn). "The majority of workers earning the minimum wage are men and women who struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Those men and women deserve an honest wage for a hard day's work."
Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) said, "Raising the minimum wage helps people who need it most, is good for our economy, and is the right thing to do. This will put a little extra money in the pockets of hardworking families who will spend it in our communities, and I hope other states and Congress will follow our lead."
"As the gulf widens between the top earners and the minimum wage workers they employ, we are consigning an entire group of hardworking Americans to long hours of work without hope of economic advancement," said Senate Majority Leader Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). "By raising the minimum, we are making it just a bit easier for families to make ends meet and live the American dream."
"This minimum wage bill is not about statistics or numbers, it is about the people," said House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin, Southington). "In one of the richest nations in the world, no person who works hard every day to provide for their family should have to live in poverty. A majority of the people who are earning minimum wage are parents, head of households, and people who help to support their families. These people deserve a decent wage for their work."
"90,000 Connecticut workers will now receive a raise allowing them to do the basic things we all do to survive," said State Senator Holder-Winfield (D-Hamden, New Haven), co-chair of the General Assembly's Labor and Public Employees Committee. "If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation in the last 45 years, it would be almost $11.00 per hour. What we accomplished today was an increase for those who need it most."
State Representative Peter Tercyak (D-New Britain), co-chair of the General Assembly's Labor and Public Employees Committee, said, "With this hike in the minimum wage, we are at last helping grow the economy on Main Street. Minimum wage workers spend every penny in their paychecks. Their purchases and bills are all local. And once the minimum wage worker spends that money it gets spent again and again as it works its way up through the economy."
The legislation is Senate Bill 32, An Act Concerning Working Families' Wages.