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.