By Jan. 1, 2015, minimum wage in Connecticut will be $9, making it one of the highest rates in the country.
On Thursday, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the legislation that increases the minimum wage in two stages over the next two years.
It will increase from $8.25 to $8.70 on Jan. 1, 2014, followed by an increase on Jan. 1, 2015 to $9.
“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. "Although I believe our nation as a whole should move in this direction, I also think Connecticut needs to lead the way in helping working families.”
Supporters have said 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 said this legislation will cripple our economy because many businesses are still struggling.
“While this legislation has good intentions, it will drive unemployment and perpetuate our depressed economy,” State Rep. Richard Smith said.
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.