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Connecticut Wins Race to Raise Minimum Wage to $10.10 Per Hour

On April 3, 2014 by Schnader in Labor and Employment

By Scott J. Wenner

On Wednesday, March 27, the Connecticut legislature approved a bill to make that state the first in the nation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour – the figure that President Obama proposed that Congress mandate nationally.  Both houses of the state’s legislature have Democratic majorities of 3 to 2 or greater.

One day later, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed the minimum wage measure into law.  And the next day, March 29, Gov. Malloy announced his candidacy for re-election this November.  Confirming the careful orchestration of the timing of his signing the minimum wage increase and his next day announcement of his candidacy, the Governor’s signing ceremony was covered live by all three major network affiliates in Hartford.

The new law will not force an immediate raise in the minimum wage to $10.10 in Connecticut, which was just increased to its present $8.70 per hour on January 1 of this year.  The new law instead mandates a phased increase to $10.10 in 2017.

More specifically, Connecticut’s new law will increase the minimum wage in the state to $9.15 (instead of the $9.00 figure set by a law Malloy signed last year). The hourly minimum then will increase to $9.60 on Jan. 1, 2016, and to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Near-unanimous Republican opposition centered on Connecticut’s above average unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, and the fact that the Congressional Budget Office released a report last month that predicted that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour nationally would reduce total employment by some 500,000 workers.

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