After a debate that went on for about five hours, the state House has approved increasing the minimum wage to $9 over the next two years, vote of 89 to 53.
The state Senate passed the bill last week and it will go to Gov. Dannel Malloy, who has said he supports increasing the minimum wage.
The current minimum wage in Connecticut is $8.25 and $9 per hour would be one of the highest in the country.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.19.
CT News Junkie reports that Malloy will support increasing it to $9 per hour, but does not support tying it to the rate of inflation.
Supporters say the hike would help workers who need extra money to pay their bills.
“I think it was essential. I know it’s a tough economy, however we have to be able to build some level of equality for those folks that are working 50,60 hours ,” State Rep. Victor Cuevas (D-Waterbury) said.
Opponents say this legislation will cripple our economy because many businesses are still struggling.
State Rep. Richard Smith was against the legislation.
“While this legislation has good intentions, it will drive unemployment and perpetuate our depressed economy,” Smith said.
Malloy has said raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour is the right thing to do for working families.
Minimum wage in Oregon is $8.95 and it is $8.60 in Vermont.
Connecticut, DC, Illinois and Nevada all have a current minimum wage of $8.25.