Raising the minimum wage in Connecticut was highly contested, but a 45-cent-per-hour increase goes into effect on Wednesday.
On January 1, the state's minimum wage will increase from $8.25 to $8.70
By Jan. 1, 2015, minimum wage in Connecticut will be $9, making it one of the highest rates in the country.
Gov. Dannel Malloy said the state's workforce is 1.7 million people and between 70,000 and 90,000 make minimum wage, which amounts to $17,160 per year.
Supporters have said the hike would help workers who need extra money to pay their bills.
“This gradual increase over two years is a balanced approach to helping hard working men and women without adversely impacting the business community,” Malloy said in a statement. “Studies have shown that increasing the minimum wage is one of the best ways to get children out of poverty. This modest increase is money that will be put back into our economy and help residents to make ends meet.”
Opponents said this legislation will cripple our economy because many businesses are still struggling.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Washington State has the highest minimum wage in the country, at $9.19.
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.