HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's governor signed a new bill into law which will increase the state's minimum wage.
The bill will make the minimum wage $15 an hour by 2023.
Gov. Ned Lamont held bill-signing ceremony on Tuesday morning.
Lawmakers passed the measure earlier this month after a 7 year fight.
They said raising the wage will impact about 320,000 workers in the state.
Under it, the current wage of $10.10 will climb to $11 this October.
It will then gradually increase a dollar each year until it reaches $15 in 2023.
Connecticut is now the 7th state to pass the $15 minimum wage.
To appease seasonal employers, 16 and 17-year-olds would get paid 85 percent of the minimum wage during a 90-day period. After that time passes, they'd receive the full amount.
While some lawmakers feel it is a necessary step to improve the lives of workers in Connecticut, others fear it will impact businesses and discourage employers from hiring because it will get too expensive.
"Women of color, many single parents but parents, one out of five kids in this state grows up with a minimum wage parent," Lamont said.
Lamont's ceremony happened at the Parkville Care Center in Hartford at 11 a.m.
"It will help because we can start saving, actually paying our bills, paying back school tuition," said Gabbie Gilbert, fast food worker.
Business leaders have concerns.
"Fifteen an hour isn't a lot and many of these corporations can afford it. And that very well may be the case, but a lot of these small businesses in this state simply cannot," said Eric Gjede, CBIA.
However, business leaders say $15 an hour and paid family leave, which lawmakers are still debating, could hurt small businesses.
"It's a big win for Connecticut and a big win for Connecticut families. They haven't had a raise in a long time," Lamont said.