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Minimum Wage Hike Clears First Hurdle

by | Mar 4, 2014 5:24pm () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Labor

Hugh McQuaid Photo The Labor Committee approved legislation to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage Tuesday on the eve of a presidential visit to the state in support of the policy.

Tuesday’s 8-3 vote by the Labor and Public Employees Committee advances a proposal that would raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017, making it the highest in the nation. The bill is in line with a national proposal by President Barack Obama, who will make remarks Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University on the subject.

In a statement, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy praised the committee’s vote. He said the proposal would help lift some working families out of poverty and boost 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,” Malloy said.

However, Republicans on the Labor Committee opposed the bill. Rep. Richard Smith, R-New Fairfield, said the bill was “feel good” legislation that doesn’t solve the economic problems that contribute to poverty.

“It sounds good, it feels good, but it doesn’t resolve the underlying issues and until we start addressing the underlying issues and throwing the money there, helping those in need . . . and making them part of the workforce to earn a better wage, we’re going to be dealing with this minimum wage issue forever,” he said.

But the committee’s Republicans acknowledged the political momentum behind this year’s legislation, especially in light of the presidential visit.

Hugh McQuaid Photo “I’m not blind to the importance of this bill both to the administration and the nation,” Rep. Craig Miner, R-Litchfield, said. “I think what will be in evidence here over the next day or so is clearly an indication that there’s momentum behind doing something.”

Miner said he still wanted to have a conversation about the proposal and hoped some Republican ideas would be incorporated.

Not all Republicans oppose the minimum wage increase. Gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley released a statement Tuesday afternoon calling the wage hike “a fairness issue” that he supports nationally.

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(12) Archived Comments

posted by: Lawrence | March 4, 2014  9:07pm

Vote taken on the same day which showed 4 out of 10 Republicans and about three-quarters of the population in general support another minimum wage increase.

Once again, Republicans cannot bring themselves to represent the wishes of their constituents, and so they will continue to remain a permanent minority in Connecticut.

posted by: ASTANVET | March 4, 2014  9:38pm

what is ‘fairness’ - isn’t there equal protection under the law…or is there special protection under the law.  We always think that the poor need our help, they couldn’t possibly figure out how to rise out of poverty on their own.  Of course, we will increase their unemployment by raising the minimum wage… but with friends like these, they will ensure there are more SNAP dollars, more government programs to ensure a strong ‘safety net’ for the problems the CGA creates.

posted by: ASTANVET | March 4, 2014  9:42pm

wait, where are all the employers that are flocking to Connecticut due to the paid sick time bill - the high cost of living, the high taxes, the highly regulatory state, the interventionist government, and the former litigator in chief turned Senator who had the stamp of factories on his wall like flying aces of WWII.  I’m sure the high minimum wage is going to attract a TON more businesses!!!

posted by: Lawrence | March 5, 2014  8:37am

Q-poll, June 2011:

“Connecticut voters support 72 – 25 percent a new law that requires large companies to offer five days of paid sick leave per year to employees. Support is 84 – 14 percent among Democrats, 50 – 44 percent among Republicans and 72 – 26 percent among independent voters. Men support the measure 63 – 34 percent while women back it 79 – 17 percent.”

Again, Democrats do a better job of representing the wishes of Republican voters in CT than Republicans do.

When you don’t represent the needs and wishes of your constituents—the citizens of CT—you become a permanent political minority. It’s really that simple.

posted by: Lawrence | March 5, 2014  8:43am

Bloomberg Business News, January, 2014:

“Reducing inequality is usually the business of protesters at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This year, it’s the buzzword for the business elite worried about their bottom lines.

As widening income disparity becomes a dominant theme at the annual meeting in the Swiss ski resort, business and financial leaders are making the case that a reversal of that multi-decade trend is needed as much for business and economic interests as for social and moral reasons.

Failure to narrow the gap risks robbing economies of demand and threatens banks and big businesses with political and regulatory backlashes if voters rebel at squeezed wages. A poll of Bloomberg subscribers released this week found 58 percent view income disparity as a brake on economic growth, with 68 percent urging governments to confront the problem.”


Again, world business leaders recognize the problem of income disparity and its negative effect on business prfits—why don’t the supposedly pro-business Republicans in CT and the CBIA recognize the same thing?

Because they are trapped in a false world of the 1% that they have created and owe all of their allegiance to.

Again, when you don’t represent the needs and wishes of your constituents, you become a permanent political minority.

US businesses are recording record profits in 2014—look it up in any newspaper.

The income gap in America (Gini coefficient) is the third worst on the planet, and Connecticut is the third worst in America. Look it up.

American workers are the most productive in the world. Look it up.

So, when and where do the workers who generate the profits for the 1% begin to share in all of this wealth and prosperity?

It begins here and now, passing a $10.10 hourly minimum wage.

posted by: justsayin | March 5, 2014  9:34am

It will only feel good until it starts to hurt.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS | March 5, 2014  12:29pm

Minimum wage means nothing without jobs.

posted by: Noteworthy | March 5, 2014  1:36pm

How many jobs will be lost? Do they just vote for this stuff in a vacuum? Did they even consider the potential to lose jobs among the working poor?

posted by: ASTANVET | March 5, 2014  3:37pm

Again, why is the State interfering with two private parties contractual negotiations.  Wages are between the worker and the employer.  If the worker is willing to work for what the employer is willing to pay then what is the rub?  Government is always trying to get in the middle of private matters.  They have already ruled on compulsory commerce - i.e. ACA.  They seek to make transactions compulsory regardless of religious or personal ideology.  If you are in business you MUST sell to anyone regardless… it’s just crazy.

posted by: Lawrence | March 5, 2014  7:41pm

For several decades, CT’s minimum wage—while touted as one of ‘the highest in the country’—has merely kept pace with inflation.

The $3.37 state minimum wage in 1981—A THIRD OF A CENTURY AGO—would be $8.67 an hour in 2014, adjusted for inflation.

Our current minimum wage in 2014 in $8.70.

Factoring in an average 2.75% inflation per year over the past quarter-century, next year’s minimum wage should be $8.94. It’s scheduled to go to $9.

Again, nothing out of ordinary.

But with record corporate profits and record worker productivity, shouldn’t people earn a little more?

That’s what $10.10 is in 2017—a mere 6% more than inflation.

posted by: justsayin | March 6, 2014  10:23am

Lawerence min wage does not close the gap. It can lift a few up but it will be at the expense of others, thus continuing the gap. Fed min wage is a bad idea. States and regions need to have their own min wage. There is also a “push-up” wage concern by business. This is far from the answer. But it does feel and sound good. Easy to say when you are not the ones paying.

posted by: StillRevolting | March 6, 2014  7:35pm

Oh good, another step in Connecticut’s march toward four seats in the House with businesses, jobs, and workers fleeing to just about anywhere else in the union knowing they can better their lot with any two characters other than CT in their address. How about leaving the jobs and getting providers who are struggling with minimum wage the skills for better ones? It would be nice if most everybody making minimum wage actually were teenagers looking forward to more in the near future. That will never happen with the Progressives in Hartford meddling with absolutely everything. Our ever intrusive state nosing around in every corner of every market will simply not allow our economy to thrive. Can anyone who he hasn’t purchased outright with my taxes really say it has over the course of Malloy’s term? Can you say only state in the nation with negative GDP in 2011 and 2012? That’s where it counts when it comes to rising tides lifting all boats. Just happens that the minimum wage gets bigger headlines. If we get rid of the Progressives and get government out of the way, we just might make it. Otherwise, Connecticut will continue down a path that eventually proves Bobby Jindal right. We’ve actually been working on it since Malloy took office in spite of his remarks and all his good intentions. Again, we are the only state with two years of consecutive negative GDP. That happens to drive the previously middle-class to minimum wage if they are working at all. Let’s focus on what’s important please. Good intentions are very nice. Continually shooting yourself in the foot is stupid and is exactly what acting on all those good intentions is turning out to be. Connecticut Progressives are proving it. Please turn them out next fall.

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