Labor Committee Approves Minimum Wage Hike Over 2 Years; New Speaker Hesitant

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Brendan Sharkey Date:

Wading into a controversial issue, the legislature\’s labor committee voted 7 – 3 Thursday to approve an increase in the minimum wage by $1.50 per hour over two years.

The vote came on the same day that House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, a small business owner who is known to be more conservative on some issues than other members of his caucus, said he has concerns about hiking the minimum wage in a still-tough economy.

\”I\’ve been hesitant about it,\’\’ Sharkey told reporters at the state Capitol complex. \”I\’m not sure that we\’re still quite out of what we\’ve been through in terms of the economic realities out there. I need to get a little bit more information as to what impacts this may have on very small businesses around the state. So, at this point, I\’m skeptical about it.\’\’

Any increase in the minimum wage still has a long way to go. Last year, the issue passed in the state House of Representatives, but never reached a vote in the Senate. The issue failed, despite having the backing of one of the most powerful members of the legislature, then-Speaker Christopher Donovan. Donovan was eventually unsuccessful in his standoff against the Senate.

The increases, according to Senate Bill 387, would be 75 cents on January 1, 2014 and then another 75 cents the following New Year\’s Day. The minimum wage is currently $8.25 per hour.

After 2016, according to the bill, increases in the minimum wage would be automatically tied to inflation.

“This is an incredible first step,” Lindsay Farrell, executive director of union-backed Connecticut Working Families Party said in a statement. “The legislators on the labor committee have shown real courage by standing up and doing what is right for working families across the state, despite the mounting pressure from corporate interests. They know that raising the minimum wage will keep nearly a quarter-million Connecticut workers from slipping into poverty. We will continue to fight to pass this bill and encourage members of the General Assembly to stand with us.”

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36 thoughts on “Labor Committee Approves Minimum Wage Hike Over 2 Years; New Speaker Hesitant

  1. Connecticut is Dying Too

    If you think youth and black unemployment is bad now, wait until this bill passes the legislature.

    Rome is burning and Obamalloy is fiddling.

  2. Richard

    Here’s what real Democrats are getting done Mr Sharkey: A $10.55 minimum wage.

    Hot off the AP presses less than an hour ago:

    A bill that would increase Minnesota’s minimum wage to more than $10 an hour by 2015 passed its first test Tuesday. The House Labor, Workforce and Regulated Industries Committee passed a bill that calls for the state to increase the minimum wage incrementally for the next three years until it hits $10.55 in August 2015.

    After that, it would increase automatically according to inflation. With Democrats in control at the Capitol and vocal support from party leadership, a minimum wage hike has a good chance of becoming law this session.

      1. Harry Hoku

        I am not so sure if unemployment will indeed, increase. I think other factors would have a greater effect on unemployment such as an impending recession.

        My feeling is that a person shouldn’t be hired by a company until it is absolutely necessary. And if a business is well organized and operated, $50 or $60 more a week shouldn’t harm but indeed add to the revenue of the company. This is the purpose of employee expansion. Further, the worker has more income to spend thus giving stimulus, although minimal, to the economy.

        That is one side of the argument. The other side is that perhaps we shouldn’t have any standards for compensation. Let the market dictate terms. I am closer to this side of the argument but I am not convinced it would be fair for someone living in this society needing to work 2 or 3 full-time jobs just to meet daily and monthly expenses.

        1. Connecticut is Dying Too

          Not to worry Harry. In the Obamanation, 30 hours is now considered full-time work.

  3. Richard

    I should add there are no union dues attached to a minimum wage bill. That’s lethal here in CT. The deal last year was to allow the home health workers to unionize and pay union dues. In return the Donovan minimum wage bill was tanked. Supposedly that was a win/win. It furthered union interests and allowed the Democrats to play faux-liberals while looking into their campaign war chests for contributions.

    The Lotto guys are looking for raises. The Judges. Why not prioritize the grossly overpaid first and start building a war chest?

    1. johngaltwhereru

      Not really though. People making $10 per hour don’t pay income taxes.

      They will pay more Social Security and Medicare taxes, but that is about all.

        1. Johngaltwhereru

          Probably not. We are talking around $20k before deductions and exemptions. Perhaps a few bucks, but after the EIC, I doubt it.

  4. Bun Bo

    I don’t understand why all 5 responses in here again the new law? If a person make $10 an hour, multiply by 40 hours a week and multiply by 52 weeks, they end up with only $20,800 a year. If you take away federal tax, state tax, income tax, insurance, rent, transportation, etc…. How much that person will have left for food?

    1. Shoreline Resident

      It’s doubtful anyone in that wage bracket pays taxes….they probably get Earned Income Tax Credit, resulting in an entitlement…

  5. salsa

    There you go again saying that increasing the minimum wage will increase unemployment. The FACTS are that studies “actually found a positive correlation between a higher minimum wage and employment” (Card and Krueger 1995, p. 66).

    Chicken Little, the sky is not falling, and people need to make a living wage.

    1. Trey Fischer

      The first link has another link to a “New Jersey” study which simply showed the opposite of Card & Krueger! I think it’s a tough call to say that it does or doesn’t help employment! Either way, if your unhappy with what you get paid or who you work for get out and change it! The government shouldn’t be doing it for you!

    2. johngaltwhereru

      Salsa, The FACTS are that there are hundreds of studies that disagree with Card and Krueger’s assessment. There are even more where the data is inconclusive.

      One thing is for certain: C&K allowed their liberal ideology to override proper data collection. The following link details the half-assed way they obtained payroll data, resulting in the exact opposite of reality when they wrote their conclusions.

  6. Fred Young

    Raise it to $10 an hour, immediately. Minimum wage jobs are not meant to be career choices. But, do not allow the bleeding heart politicians and advocacy groups to then peg welfare benefits based upon a raised minimum wage. Raise the minimum wage and lower welfare to where it is worth more to take a job then to sit home running non taxable bidness enterprises.

    1. Johngaltwhereru

      You would have to raise minimum wage a whole lot higher than $10/hour to exceed welfare benefits.

      Food stamps, section 8 housing and Husky benefits, especially for multiple children, are worth more than $20K.

  7. Dr. Aki Bola, Esq.

    These scrooges should be ashamed. People can’t get by in this state on close to $10/hour. Make the minimum wage $50/hour at least, and don’t forget the free Obamaphones and EBT.

  8. Gompers

    When Democrats are against the minimum wage they are against their own base. FDR started the minimum wage during the Great Depression. He said if a job can’t afford the minimum wage then that job shouldn’t exist. Democratic leaders need to get off the Ronald Reagan paradigm and back to standing for working people again.

    1. enness

      Gee, what a fantastic attitude. /sarc I’d rather have a job that paid something than no job at all.

  9. Donald

    Congratulations to the House Speaker for doubting the benefits of the bill. The answer to low wages is worker training & job education to qualify for higher paying wages. But for that to happen CT needs to be able to create those jobs. But, CT is last among the 50 states + the D.C. in job creation over the last 20 years. If you take out the increase in government jobs you have negative job growth.

    It’s not only the $1.50 increase in labor cost to businesses, add on the additional employer’s share of social security tax, medicare tax, all of the state unemployment tax, all of the federal income tax, all of the additional workman’s compensation insurance and the increases in other insurances that are tied to payroll.

    Then you have the increase in wages paid to employees, who have worked to rise above the minimum wage. Don’t you think they are entitled to comparable wage increases to keep pace?

    Add all of the increases in a difficult economy with with unemployment continuing a record highs and you have more businesses closing the doors or moving to other states.

    I’s time government figured out there is only 100 cents in a dollar. If you increase spending on part of one then there has to be spending reductions in the other.

    For those of you concerned about people being able to live in CT, next time you by merchandise on line to save a couple of dollars, try thinking about that money not going to your local business so they can pay local workers.

  10. enness

    This doesn’t necessarily mean everybody else is going to get a raise. I know I’m not. They’d have to raise rates again, and people would complain.

  11. SY

    Hmm… I think this is great. You guys think this is too much? Australia economy is a lot better plus their mid-wage is over 15.00 … 10 dollar is nothing. Just some greedy rich people that is all.

    1. Connecticut is Dying Too

      How’s that Obama koolaid taste? It must taste good because you’re not in Australia. Too bad.

      1. tired of hate

        stop being such a racist and you might realize that there are plenty of issues that our country is facing I hope that one day you face real struggles and stop hiding behind racist rants. Sometimes I am ashamed to say I live in CT. because of closeminded racist like yourself

        1. Connecticut is Dying Too

          How on earth did my comment above lead you to believe I was racist?

          You need to get your tiny head examined.

          1. The Conn-servative

            CT is Dying 2, the mere fact that you mentioned Obama and koolaid in the same sentence makes you a racist in the secular regressives mind.

  12. justme

    Under the Obama and left wing financial polices and demands for more government and higher minimum wages our wealth is in decline.
    “Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6%, compared to December (on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis). That’s the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department”

  13. Tammy

    I have a small business in PA. I own and operate a 36 bed personal care home for the elderly. Honestly this will close my business down. I barely can meet the payroll taxes now. Does anyone think about what this will do to small business? My taxes have already increased and things are close to ending as it is. SAD!! I provide care for those that need it, where will our elderly go?

    1. Mike Robinson

      This story is about possible minimum wage increase in Connecticut. I get your point in general, but I think PA sets the minimum wage for a business in PA.

    2. Connecticut is Dying Too

      Sorry to hear of your situation Tammy. Liberals shouldn’t be allowed to run Governments as their well-meaning but failed policies are driving this country to ruin.

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