Minimum Wage Battle Starts Again in Connecticut - NBC Connecticut

Minimum Wage Battle Starts Again in Connecticut



    Minimum Wage Fight Back at Capitol

    GOP successfully blocked one measure but the debate over a $15 per hour minimum wage will happen in the CT House.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017)

    If Connecticut is going to raise the minimum wage for the second time in four years, then the effort would have to start in the House.

    Two proposals to raise the minimum wage were proposed in a committee, but only the House version, sponsored by Democrats, achieved enough votes to go to the House Floor. The Senate version was successfully blocked by Republicans.

    "I voted for the minimum wage a few years back because it made sense and it could be absorbed in the economy without much of a bump,” said Sen. Len Fasano, the Republican President Pro Tem of the Senate. “This can't be absorbed, not at this time.”

    Connecticut’s minimum wage officially reached $10.10 in January, after it was approved to go up in stages in March, 2014.

    Now, other states have raised the minimum wage in similar ways, and California, Washington D.C. and New York have approved plans for their wages to reach $15 per hour within the next several years.

    Sen. Bob Duff the Majority Leader in the Senate, said he would be willing to attempt to force a vote on the issue to get the bill to Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desk, so long as they have a passed version from the Connecticut House of Representatives.

    "Whatever fight we have to do, I think it's worth the fight to make sure that we are standing up for the families all across the state of Connecticut. We're not siding with the lobbyists here in the state capitol," Sen. Duff said.

    Beatrice Drayton is a home health worker who earns $13 an hour. She’s worked with one client for the past six years.

    "We can't do without each other. You know, I'm there to give her her meals, take her to her errands, appointments, things like that. Without me, she don't have no way of getting around."

    Drayton said just a couple of extra dollars could change her financial situation for the better.

    "That $15 would be very crucial because I can pay my medical bills, Obamacare, I'm one of them out of $20 million people. I can pay that $146 a month without sacrificing something else."

    Fasano said the state needs to rebuild its economy, rather than just raise the minimum wage again.

    “Competition and a healthy economy will get us where we want to go, instead of arbitrarily setting a line and saying everyone's happy, here we go."

    Get the latest from NBC Connecticut anywhere, anytime