The Connecticut General Assembly’s Labor Committee on Tuesday approved legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017.
The eight-to-three vote comes just one day before President Barack Obama travels to New Britain, Conn. to deliver a speech calling for a national increase in the minimum wage, currently at $7.25 per hour. Connecticut’s minimum is currently $8.25 and set to go up to $9 in January of 2015.
“In this day and age, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a release. “This is money that goes right back into the economy. When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers.”
In a conference call with media Tuesday, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council, said a national $10.10 minimum would directly or indirectly affect 28 million workers without having any negative impact on employment.
Sperling said the minimum wage is not a partisan issue among regular citizens — that putting more money into the pockets of workers is a “basic national value.”
“In terms of purchasing power, the minimum wage has been dropping steadily for 45 years now,” U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro added. “Even as income has stagnated, prices have gone up.”