Connecticut votes to raise minimum wage
31st March 2014 · 0 Comments
By Frederick H. Lowe
(Special from TheNorthStar-News.com) The Connecticut Legislature voted on Wednesday to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2017, David Bednarz, deputy press secretary for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, told The NorthStar News & Analysis in an email.
Connecticut is the first state to pass a minimum wage increase to $10.10, making it a turning point in the national movement to raise the minimum wage, Paul Sonn, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project, said in a statement.
The National Employment Law Project is supporting campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in 12 states, including Michigan, Maryland, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Illinois.
The vote in Connecticut should encourage Illinois lawmakers to raise the minimum wage from $8.25 per hour to $10.65 per hour, said Aileen Kelleher, communications director for Action Now, a Chicago-based community organization that is pushing for an increase in the minimum wage throughout the state and in Chicago.
The Illinois Senate Executive Committee on March 20 approved legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.65 per hour, Kelleher said. It is not known when the legislation will go before the full Senate.
Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan also has endorsed raising the state minimum wage to $10.65 per hour, Kelleher said.
Separately in Chicago, voters in 103 precincts on March 18 approved a non-binding referendum to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for city-based companies that report $50 million or more in annual revenues.
In Connecticut, the current minimum wage is $8.70. It will increase to $9.15 Jan. 1, 2015, and to $9.60 January 1, 2016, Bednarz said.
This article originally published in the March 31, 2014 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.