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Ayala Applauds Minimum Wage Increase

May 24th, 2013 · 26 Comments · News and Events

The State Senate on Thursday voted to increase the minimum wage. It now awaits a vote by the House. Governor Malloy says he would sign it into law. Is raising the minimum wage good for the little peeps or bad for businesses shouldering increased costs? Statement from State Senator Andres Ayala:

Working families across Connecticut will find it a bit easier to put food on their tables thanks to action taken by the State Senate today. Tonight Senator Andres Ayala (D-Bridgeport) joined his colleagues in the Senate to pass Senate Bill 287, An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage by a 21 to 15 vote. This bill will raise the minimum wage by $0.45 to $8.70 on January 1, 2014, and again by $0.30 to $9.00 on January 1, 2015.

“The working people in my district and across Connecticut deserve a fair wage that will support their families,” said Senator Ayala. “It is with these people in mind that I proudly support this bill. Far too many people in our state hold down two, three, or more jobs and still struggle to make ends meet. This bill will help ensure that their hard work earns them a wage they can survive on.”

The bill passed tonight will help many of Connecticut’s most vulnerable families. Contrary to the common belief, over 80% of minimum wage earners are above the age of twenty, 42% have at least some college education, and many are struggling to support a family. The average minimum wage worker earns about half of his or her family’s total income. Over a quarter of these families have children they are trying to provide for.

In addition to the boost it provides to working families, an increase to the minimum wage has been repeatedly shown to increase economic activity. Minimum wage workers spend their new earnings immediately, generating a positive impact on their local economies. The costs for this increase on the businesses that employ minimum wage earners are usually less than two-tenths of one percent of that business’s sales revenue.

Now that Senate Bill 287 has passed in the Senate, it moves on to the House of Representatives for final action.

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26 Comments so far ↓

  • John Marshall Lee

    Readers may remember I have been instructed on more than one occasion to pay attention to the statement “less is more.” Of course that is not true if you are a worker earning the current minimum wage. Less is not enough to meet routine necessary living expenses, let alone satisfying wants.

    Ayala’s elected economics education is long on spending “other people’s money” as well as creating law that governs what business managers must do with their money employed in a business.

    When Ayala says: “This bill will help ensure that their hard work earns them a wage they can survive on.” he obviously is overstating the case. Voting more money to workers neither guarantees nor ensures survival. It just puts more money in the hands of some people, presumably hard working, but perhaps not so hard working, so they can do with it as they please. It is joining a fact with a hope. If survival is the goal, perhaps more attention should be paid by legislators to how jobs come to be in the small business private economy, which according to current thinking is the major generator of new jobs.

    If Andres had to reach into his pocket and put his money at risk, what is the best course of action to pursue? In fact if all of our legislators had to put their retirement benefits with the State of CT on the line, at risk, based on how their voting with respect to economic affairs over the years progress, would they be happy? Would they begin looking to take the risk away from their future? Who pays the premiums (taxes) to guarantee outcomes for some (but not all) people? Time will tell.

    • BlackRockGuy

      One of the most disgusting comments I have ever read here. John likes to tell us about how he volunteers at a food pantry. “Perhaps not so hard working.” Really John … I could have said the same thing about many people I have met over the years in offices making high salaries. Quite a let them eat cake statement. As to ‘spending other people’s money” many of those workers contribute to the profits of the business and to pay someone such a low salary while frequently living in the suburbs is almost criminal. I am sure I will be attacked for class warfare. To those people who want to use that term, YOU HAVE NO CLASS!

    • BlackRockGuy

      This is why the GOP will never regain the status it once had in B’port. There used to be a time when there were Republicans who cared. And I have no idea what JML’s party registration is but if it quacks like a duck it’s a duck.

  • Ron Mackey

    John Marshall Lee, so what do you suggest the working families across Connecticut do to support their families?

    • BlackRockGuy

      I guess they are supposed to go to the food pantry he volunteers at. I am not mocking the food pantries but I am mocking the JML’s of the world who give out donated food but don’t think they deserve at least a decent base wage to live off of.

  • BlackRockGuy

    Pretty clear to me even from out here, many of the CW4BB are against programs that will help people in other parts of town. More concerned with closing down massage parlors (not necessarily a bad thing but something that should have been a lower priority given problems in other parts of the city). But the Greenwich wannabees like JML will once again ensure the opposition is split. People who are barely getting by are not going to be political allies of people like JML who are cavalier about the fact we have parents who are unable to improve their lot in life working three jobs to support their families. Then they are criticized for not doing anything to improve their skills to raise their incomes. When are they supposed to do that?

    • Mustang Sally

      BRG: CW4BB had NOTHING to do with the massage parlor closures. That was One Bridgeport. CW4BB is concerned with conflicts of interest, charter reform and an open and transparent budget process, at the moment. From what I understand, and I tend to do research based on facts and avoid subjectivity, this group will continue to try to rally support from all neighborhoods in Bridgeport, on behalf of the effort to transform this City into what it should be.

      You throw your opinions around like they are nuggets of gold and we are scrambling to scoop them up before they hit the ground. The reality is they are fools’ gold and the joke’s on you. If you want facts, verify. I know for a fact you have not.

      Run along now, aren’t you needed as cast in a desert mirage somewhere?

      • Ron Mackey

        Mustang Sally, you said, “this group will continue to try to rally support from all neighborhoods in Bridgeport, on behalf of the effort to transform this City into what it should be.” The group is mostly those from Black Rock. They have not engaged all sections of Bridgeport, they have spoken to few people outside their area. To make change you have to get the voters involved and engaged and to get out the vote so as you see there is a lot of work to be done but you have to see what their issues and concerns are because they’re different issues.

        • Mustang Sally

          It is mostly BR residents for sure, but I do know they have reached out to other parts of the City. Trust me on this one!!! But yes, I know there are different issues in different parts of the City. These good government efforts do, however, concern the entire City. Also, if it were not for this group of citizens squawking like crazy, there would have been a much higher tax increase. But hey, that was so two weeks ago, right? (The former comment is not directed at you, Ron.) Trying to engage citizens from other parts of town has proven to be challenging.

          We can look at the electorate and say “well, it is what it is” if we want, but one thing is for sure, that phrase is used when things are not as they should be.

          I hope for change, as I think you do as well, so thank you for that.

          • Ron Mackey

            Mustang Sally, the problem might be in who is leading the charge, people must respect and trust those who seek their help are going help them with their concerns, it is a two-way street, you help me and I help you but I have got to trust you.

  • BlackRockGuy

    Even though I opposed Ayala’s election, I always try to applaud someone when they do the right thing. And he did this time.

  • James Louloudes

    50 weeks times 40 hour equals 2000 hours time 9.00 dollars per hour equals $18,000 a year income. Is the first comment made on this subject suggesting 18,000 per year is breaking the bank for a small business? And that’s gross income. After taxes income I would guess be around $15,000 a year. Living the high life in Bridgeport on $15,000 a year.

    • Steven Auerbach

      That’s more than a substitute teacher makes in the City of Bridgeport. OMG raise the wage and improve the quality of life for all people. We can help pay this back by making all religious institutions pay taxes. I think JML and others will agree these institutions need to pay taxes.

  • Bob

    How about the government “hard workers” take an across-the-board cut to match what the private sector pays? For those of you who have to deal with overpaid clerical staff in Hartford this would be small justice. Hey, how many of you can work a five-day week with EVERY holiday off, have good benefits, good vacation time off, and not have to worry about impressing the boss (who’s also probably milking the system)? Few government workers could work in the private sector successfully as few have a decent work ethic.

    • BlackRockGuy

      Hey Bob, why don’t you call a sales executive if you ever have a house fire? Your characterization of govt employees as being lazy and overpaid is inappropriate and frankly disgusting. And many private workers are grossly underpaid hence the push to raise the minimum wage. Govt employees should not be screwed over because many more private sector workers have been in recent decades. ENOUGH!

  • John Marshall Lee

    BRG. Read it again. Try responding to the statements I made rather than the stick figure you like to attack. Dave Moore, it has taken you five attempts to spit your class wrath venom out today. I have no interest in moving to Greenwich so you show profound ignorance of who I am with that accusation. And I trust most of the people who have observed me serving at one pantry in recent years, or for many past years as a volunteer at Prospect House and Bridgeport Rescue Mission will have no problem in saying I have worked for them. They also will understand I have not done this for any “political advantage,” strange as that may seem to BRG, but as a Rotarian intention of SERVICE ABOVE SELF, and as a Christ follower showing care for my neighbor in need.

    Does that activity matter to you ‘critics?’ Don’t like my opinions? That’s OK. I have earned them and share them concerning the handling of money, about working for compensation and about life in general. What are you doing for our neighbors in need? Love to hear about your good works that shape your viewpoints.

    And Ron, an answer (from my experience as a mentor): get the families involved to keep kids serious working for the free public education, with diploma. Jim L. has already done the math successfully, but the minimum wage for the most part does not hit family leaders, but rather new workers to the economy, and too often they are young people on whom serious thousands were spent annually to educate them to graduation expectations, but they did not complete the course successfully. How are you working with the schools to change that? This is not a political issue. It is a community issue that needs information, serious discussion and work from many people. Time will tell.

    • BlackRockGuy

      Apparently you want your neighbors in need to work for a substandard minimum wage. And as far your class warfare rhetoric … right out of Rush Limbaugh and the Chamber of Commerce Folks. Most of those people whom you “serve” would rather be making at least enough to subsist on. AND as far as venom the worst venom I have seen is from you. And your comments about minimum wage are BS talking points from the CBIA. A substantial portion of the working poor are minimum wage and as such are often forced to rely on soup kitchens. If you really cared about “your neighbor in need” you would be supporting this very modest increase in the minimum wage. I am sure you can afford that extra 10¢ for that Big Mac.

      • BlackRockGuy

        And by working poor I mean adults who as I have stated before are often forced to work multiple jobs and still end up in your soup kitchen.

  • BallsyInBridgeport

    Huh??? Can someone give me the Cliff’s Notes on this argument? So many twists and turns, my head is spinning and I’m dizzy. This whole comment thread is a boiling hot mess.

    • BlackRockGuy

      Quite simple. JML who claims to be such a great humanitarian is against even a modest increase in the minimum wage because it interferes with his sense of freedom for business people.

      • John Marshall Lee

        Actually, BRG has demonstrated trouble reading what others write. Rather than ask for clarification which might show some humility, he makes assumptions about other posters and then buries them in diatribe.
        I have on two occasions mentioned the subject of service work to neighbors who need a hand in one manner or another so now I “claim to be a great humanitarian.” When I question the statement by Senator Ayala was the part this increase would “ensure” that they would have income to survive on,” I was objecting to this overstatement by an elected official, for whom the passing of a rule or regulation can make him sound wonderful, who at the same time is doing what?? to provide an environment that is helpful to small businesses, the engine for jobs for those with the lowest skill levels. CT ranks very low in its hospitality to “job incubators” due to taxation and overregulation.
        Finally, as a non-salaried worker and self-employed businessman for nearly 50 year I was also pointing out some of the realities of small business persons who invest in many cases the same number of hours as someone working 2-3 jobs, and also risk capital or going into debt for their business. (All of a sudden I am a proponent of CBIA positions? Not.)
        If you’d care to read my comment again in the first entry, I do not think you will find a statement I was against the minimal increase. What I am against is the way politicians characterize their votes. I also shall continue to resist character attacks from posters who fail to provide their bona fides about what activities they undertake to do something about poor conditions they uncover. They are closet terrorists. Come out into the public forum and put your ideas on problems, ideas and concerns to the test. Afraid of having coffee and conversation with some folks who are searching for better answers? Is it safer to sit in your easychair and lob insults that degrade the discussion and solve nothing? Most of us know a number of things that are wrong locally. They are Bridgeport problems, not neighborhood problems. Perhaps the economics at this time of some folks from parts of the North End, Brooklawn, Black Rock, the West End and the South End may allow them to survive plus take time to see the bigger picture. No one has been disinvited to the pursuit whom I have heard about. Fall election of City Council is a focus. Time will tell.

    • Booty

      You and Tommy Roe.
      “Dizzy, I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning.
      Like a whirlpool, it never ends.”
      www .youtube.com/watch?v=oU_rqm7WPPI

  • BlackRockGuy

    I must have hit a nerve John for you to feel so victimized since most of the most vicious language here comes from YOU! Accusing me of class warfare … that your idea of exchanging ideas, John? To a lot of people unless they are fans of Rush Limbaugh that is called redbaiting.
    For you to compare a small businessman who probably lives in a nice house with someone who is working two or three jobs to barely afford a third-floor walkup in the East End is ludicrous at best. Correct me if I am wrong but your business is selling insurance … and you have the nerve to compare your “struggles” to someone who is having trouble getting medical care or food on the table. Pardon me while I go vomit.

  • Mojo

    *** THE MORE MONEY YOU MAKE, THE MORE YOU’LL SPEND IN THE LONG RUN WHICH IN TURN WILL STIMULATE THE ECONOMY! AN EASY BILL TO SUPPORT THAT WILL HELP THE STATE OF CT. *** BILL HB-5724 IS A “NEEDED” TEAM SUPPORT BILL THAT WILL HELP THE CITY IN ITS COURSE TOWARDS POSITIVE CHANGE! ***

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