Gov. Dannel Malloy holds a news conference in Hartford to the increase in the state minimum wage that goes into effect at the start of the new year. (Photo Courtesy: Malloy's Flickr page)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -
Gov. Dannel Malloy held a news conference Monday afternoon in which he discussed the increase in the state minimum wage that goes into effect at the start of the new year.
The state minimum wage will increase from $8.25 an hour to $8.70, which is the first of a two-year increase that will ultimately raise it to $9 an hour on Jan. 1, 2015.
According to numbers supplied by the state, there are 1.7 million people working in Connecticut, with between 70,000 to 90,000 workers earning minimum wage.
On the minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, an employee would earn $17,160 per year if that person worked 40 hours each week.
"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 at the press conference. "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."
Connecticut isn't the only state seeing an increase. Others expected to raise their minimum wage include New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Missouri, Colorado and Oregon.
The federal minimum wage is currently at $7.25 an hour.
Supporters of the increase said it will help families struggling to make ends meet, while opponents said they fear the increase will force small business owners to higher fewer workers.
Malloy was joined by Senate Pres. Donald Williams, Jr., House Speaker Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) among other state and local officials at a news conference Monday afternoon.
"This increase in the minimum wage will give thousands of low-income working families across Connecticut a small raise in the new year, which is long overdue," Sharkey said. "Raising the minimum wage is good for our economy, helps people, and is the right thing to do."
The Co-chairman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, Peter Tercyak, said people who recieve the minimum wage increase will spent it "locally."
"None of it will go to investments or savings yet," Tercyak said. "This is starting at the lower end of our economy, and this money will be earned and spent, passing through hand after hand, before it reaches the wealthy."
To read the full bill on minimum wage, click here.
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