HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - After seven hours of deliberating, state senators voted to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

Channel 3 spoke to a local business about what this means for them.

Oak H ill in Hartford has empowered people with disabilities for more than a century.

“It’s great when parents can put their heads down at night and sleep because they know that their loved ones are well cared for,” said Barry Simon.

President and CEO Barry Simon supports the decision to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by 2023.

Right now, some employees max out at $14.75

But there’s a concern.

“Being the largest purchase of service contractor with the state for people with disabilities, it’s really important that our contracts also reflect our ability to pay. So, as this goes forward, our hope is that these same legislators that have gotten behind and supported this are also supportive of our rates in order to pay,” Simon said.

The state Senate passed the bill overnight.

In October, the current wage will climb to 11 dollars, rising one dollar a year, until 2023.

Republicans fear it will shrink the state’s economy.

“Cut taxes, cut spending, that’s how you’re going to help people. Raising the minimum wage is just going to continue to raise the cost of living in Connecticut, and it’s a never-ending game,” said Senator Len Fasano.

Democrats believe this bill will benefit 300,000 workers trying to make ends meet.

“People are working 50 hours a week, sometimes more, piecing together two or three minimum wage jobs in order to put together a living,” said Senator Martin Looney.

That’s why at Oak Hill, they want to keep the very best, for another 125 years.

As long as the state ensures they have the means to afford it.

“We have an amazing workforce. They’re wonderful at what they do. So, as this continues to move forward through the legislative process, we’re really hopeful that they don’t forget us,” Simon said.

The bill passed by a vote of 21-14.

It now goes before Governor Lamont who is expected to sign it into law next week.

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

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(3) comments

Taxpayer

Just in time! A raise by Gov't to be able to drive and pay Connecticut Tolls created by Gov't. CT also will get more tax revenue from the increase. ...and you thought it was for the poor people? Come on!

Blavigne

There are pros and cons to every legislative decision, but if you take in the overall picture of it - it isn't pretty. Many workers in this state struggle financially - they juggle bills, sometimes go without clothing or food purchases because they don't make enough. People are behind in their rent or can't afford gas to travel. Some even move into apartments/homes with others for affordability reasons - this isn't even considering the taxes that are taken out of each paycheck. If you put yourself in most people's shoes who are in the unskilled labor market, you will see that even $15/hr isn't that much to on in CT ($15/hr x 40 hrs = $600 and then minus out 20% in taxes (about $120). That's about $480/week. The cost of rent, food, car insurance, health insurance FAR exceeds the affordability even at the $15/hr range. CT is not a cheap state to live in - and now the tolls may pass in the future which will decrease the amount of money available for expenses. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.

Ethical1

Minimum wage jobs were never intended to be a sole means for affordable living. The original intent of unskilled minimum wage employment was for a teens 1st job or supplementing another income.

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