Minimum Wage In Fairfield County To Increase To $10.10 Per Hour

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Gov. Dannel Malloy speaking about the raising of minimum wage in the state.
Gov. Dannel Malloy speaking about the raising of minimum wage in the state. Photo Credit: Andrew Doba, Twitter

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Minimum wage will increase to $10.10 per hour in 2017 in Fairfield County and across Connecticut after back-to-back positive votes in the legislature Wednesday night. 

"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," President Barack Obama said in praising the vote late Wednesday. This gives Connecticut the highest minimum wage in the nation. 

During debates in both the Senate and the House, most Republicans spoke about how the steep increase will hurt the business community.

“This is one of those bills that is at first blush easy to vote for, because why wouldn’t you want to help those that need it the most,” said state Rep. Richard Smith, R-Danbury. “When we take a deeper look at it… I think you’ll find something else that’s much more detrimental.”

The bill passed through the Senate with a vote of 21-14. It passed through the House with a vote of 87-54, mainly along party lines. 

The first increase to $9.15 would occur in January 2015. Then it would go to $9.60 in January 2016 and finally hit $10.10 in January 2017.

“I think it’s too fast,” said state Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich. The minimum wage was increased from $8.25 to $8.70 on Jan. 1 this year and was already slated to jump to $9 in 2015.

“Businesses only have two options, they either have to increase the price of the burger or lay some one off,” said state Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton. "Which is the exact opposite of what we’re tying to do."

Many lawmakers cited statistics that Connecticut comes in nearly last when it comes to its business climate as they urged their colleagues to vote against the increases.

“This bill will raise the unemployment rate,” said state Rep. John Shaban, R-Weston.

As a whole, most democrats applauded the wage increase, saying that it will help to decrease the state's income gap and keep young workers in the state. 

“Once again, Connecticut is taking the lead on good policy, and once again, Congress should look to Connecticut and do the same,” Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal said. "Not only is this the right thing to do for Connecticut families, it is the right thing for Connecticut business as well, who have told me boosting pay increases productivity and worker purchasing power."

Gov. Dannel Malloy applauded the legislature for passing the increases, which he had proposed in his State of the State Address.

“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,” said Malloy.

On Thursday, Malloy will be signing the bill into law in a ceremony held at Café Beauregard in New Britain, the same restaurant where he lunched with Obama before a rally in support of the minimum wage hike. 

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Comments (14)

I am very surprised that Republicans are against this as they will be helped the most. When you look at the fact that most is not all Republicans have no 21st century skills.

People with little skills that reply on gov assistance will like this. However it will cost more jobs than create a more robust economy.

Fairly certain this is a way for liberals to try and sneak more votes, since they have gotten nothing else done.

Raising the Minimum Wage Would Help, Not Hurt, Our Economy
Raising the minimum wage would be good for our economy. A higher minimum wage not only increases workers’ incomes—which is sorely needed to boost demand and get the economy going—but it also reduces turnover, cuts the costs that low-road employers impose on taxpayers, and pushes businesses toward a high-road, high-human-capital model.

Despite these positive benefits, and the sad fact that the minimum wage is worth far less today than it was in the late 1960s, with the Senate set to vote to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, opponents will likely trot out the same unfounded argument that the minimum wage reduces employment. And with today’s unemployment rate stuck above 7 percent, we anticipate these types of arguments to reach a fevered pitch.

The evidence, however, is clear: Raising the minimum wage does not have the harmful effects that critics claim.

A significant body of academic research finds that raising the minimum wage does not result in job losses, even during periods when the unemployment rate is high. Critics of the minimum wage, however, often hold on to the claim that raising the minimum wage will lead to job losses and ultimately hurt the overall economy, exacerbating the problem of high unemployment. The argument that raising the minimum wage will increase unemployment is somewhat far-fetched, since the minimum wage impacts a relatively small share of the overall workforce, which is itself concentrated in certain industries such as restaurants and demographic groups such as teenagers.

OMG you people are Horrible. How come right away you look to the consumer and the worker to pay for it. Don't you see that business owners and CEO's of large corporations just look to make too much. There are way too many high end exotic cars out there among other luxuries, which shows me that there are too many with inflated salaries on the backs of the American worker and consumer. Too much Greed. Raising minimum wage will bring people out of welfare. I know there are many of you that would love that.

according to the will not do as you say. it will force 500k into severe poverty. sure, some will benefit, but 500k more people will go to $0/hr.

is that what you want?

Here are some key takeaways from the CBO report:
1.More than 700,000 American workers would be lifted out of poverty
More than 1 million retail workers and their family members live in or close to poverty. By raising the minimum wage of full-time workers to the equivalent of $12.25 per hour, 734,075 people would be lifted out of poverty and an additional 769,191 people living near the poverty line would see their incomes rise to more than 150 percent above the poverty line.
2.GDP would rise by as much as $15.2 billion
A wage increase to $12.25 an hour would impact more than 5 million workers and their families. As these families have access to more money, they will spend more, translating to as much as $15.2 billion in new economic activity, according to Demos.

3.132,000 new jobs could be created
If the increase in economic activity reached $15.2 billion, retailers would need 132,000 new employees.

4.The wage increase would actually only cost retailers about 1 percent of total sales
Large retailers would need to absorb the higher labor cost for the 3.5 million workers earning less than $12.25 per hour. But according to Demos, most of this increase in costs would be returned to the firm in the form of productivity gains and increased revenues, amounting to only 1 percent of their total yearly sales.

5.It would generate as much as $5 billion in additional retail revenue
In fact, assuming that low-income families spend rather than save the money from the wage increase, retailers could expect at least 20 cents in new revenue for every additional payroll dollar. That would have added up to as much as $5 billion in 2012.

6.The average shopper would pay just 15 cents more per shopping trip at most
Even if the nation's largest retailers decided to pass off the cost of a $12.25 minimum wage increase entirely to customers, Demos found that an average household would spend just 7 to 15 cents more per shopping trip.

Its pretty clear to any with at least a 3rd grade education that raising the minimum wage is a good thing.

highest in the nation...bye bye jobs

True noreally and what most people do not realize this is a tax increase for CT. If your wages go up the state withholding goes up. So basically CT just got another TAX INCREASE compliments of the progressive liberal socialist dems. And the low information voters do not realize that fact. Welcome to CT tax and spend malloy and his band of tax and spend progressives. HELLO WE JUST GOT ANOTHER TAX INCREASE FROM MALLOY!!

how about a big press conference to proclaim you no longer believe in free markets...

again, according to the "non partisan" Congressional Budget Office, the move to $10.10 will DECREASE jobs a net 500,000 jobs. some will gain, but overall 500,000 people will go to $0/hr.

there is no free lunch, liberals. Someone pays for this rah rah press conference and the increase to $10....and it's the 500k who go to $0/hr.

I think it is great the unemployment in CT will increase. As a person that dines out 3-4 times a week i will no longer leave a 25% TIP. Now that the increase to waiters and waitresses will be paid by an increase in food prices i need not leave my normal 25%. I will reduce it accordingly to keep my bill stable. The business owner will pay the difference. Bottom line tips are going to SHRINK ACCORDINGLY. This ruling is going to back fire big time. And since when does MALLOY think other states follow CT'S Lead on anything he does. What a BUFFOON!! Most businesses will cut hours for there people or lay them off. Either way i could care less because my tipping will be altered to offset the increase. And i will jump in my car and head off to another state to go shopping SIMPLE!!! . Another feel good law passed to buy the progressive left votes on the backs of business. These liberals are so PREDICTABLE. AND NOTE THE TIMING!!! Plain and simple it was bought votes for the liberal dems.