Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday he supports raising the state minimum wage to $9 over the next two years, describing the measure as \”good public policy.\”
\”This is a small amount of relief intended to help..hardworking individuals and I think it is the right time to do it,\” said Malloy.
Sources who have been briefed on the proposal had said Thursday evening the governor was going to endorse a plan to increase the current state level of $8.25 in increments over the next two years until it reaches $9 in 2015. Malloy does not, however, support indexing it to inflation afterward, which was a policy included in the federal budget proposal President Obama released earlier this month. Obama\’s proposal also calls for raising the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 by 2015.
Malloy supports the increase, sources said, but does not endorse tying the state\’s minimum wage to CPI, as a proposal in the state legislature would also do.
Despite the governor\’s support, any proposal to increase the minimum wage faces a difficult battle in the Connecticut General Assembly before it becomes law. The bill cleared committee after extensive debate, opponents arguing that if businesses are forced to pay their workers more, they may have to compensate with layoffs. Labor groups and many Democrats, however, back legislation to raise the minimum wage because they say it will keep hundreds of thousands of state residents out of poverty.
The Connecticut General Assembly last passed a minimum wage increase in 2008, overriding a veto by then-Gov. Jodi Rell. That legislation brought the state\’s minimum wage to $8.25 in 2010, and it has remained at that level since.
In Congress, U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty, both Connecticut Democrats, are co-sponsors of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, which would raise the federal level to $10.10 over the next three years and then index it to inflation.