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. 

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(5) comments

326

Should just about cover the toll increase. Not inflation though. These people will still be in poverty.

Blavigne

On the quote "others fear it will impact businesses and discourage employers from hiring because it will get too expensive." - How about if we ask if business owners can live on what they are paying employees?!...Connecticut is one of the most expensive states to live in (specially considering it's small size in this nation) - let's factor in how many have to have multiple jobs to make ends meet - or how many of us have to take advantage of State Assistance/Food Stamps....or how many of us can't afford health insurance and must use government insurance?....If you think paying an employee $15/hr is too much because YOU can't afford it, then maybe it's time to think about doing business where it can be affordable - NOT in Connecticut. Don't we have enough low-income people in Connecticut who struggle financially? If you think this about businesses, it's not - it affects employers and employees, but the employer shouldn't be the only one reaping the benefits of profit - employees should also benefiting as well and with our buckling welfare system, you may want to think about that for just a minute...

Ethical1

Blavigne I know several small business owners who are not by any means living the life of the rich & famous. Each month is another hurdle for them to keep their doors open. Yeah I get trying to get these chain businesses to pay a little more but there will be multiple Mom & Pop places that will close. When I was young these minimum wage jobs were mainly employing high school kids and people supplementing their income.

Jules Winnfield

Yet another commiecrat governor doing his best to chase businesses out of Connecticut, and keep new ones from want in. This mess is brought to you by the same people who voted a convicted felon back into office as mayor.

Feddup

Good idea to make taxpayers out of low wage workers, but how does this affect the retired workers living off SS? Puts them into the poverty ranks, that is how.

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