Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has emerged as one of the nation\’s most outspoken advocates for raising the minimum wage. Not only is he pushing for a $10.10-an-hour rate in Connecticut, the Democrat has also carved out a high-profile national role on the topic, landing cable TV appearances and drawing the attention of President Obama.
But the man who engaged in a public spat with Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana wasn\’t always such a zealot. A little over a year ago, when the legislature\’s labor committee was reviewing a bill that would have raised Connecticut\’s hourly wage to $9-an-hour, Malloy struck a more cautious tone.
\”The governor has long been a supporter of a good and decent minimum wage,\” his spokesman Andrew Doba said on Jan. 10, 2013. \”While he certainly supports the ideals behind this legislation, we must be mindful of the needs of businesses, especially given the current economic climate. Since taking office, the governor has signed legislation enacting both a historic state-based earned income tax credit and paid sick leave — two proposals that will provide a tremendous lift for working families.\”
Since then, Malloy has embraced the issue with a convert\’s zeal. He signed a bill that raised Connecticut\’s minimum wage to $8.70 an hour on Jan. 1. A second increase, bringing the wage to $9 an hour, is scheduled to kick in on Jan. 1, 2015.
But even as he voiced his support, a vein of skepticism remained. \”I am not backing a bill that would get us to $9.50 and I am not backing a bill that would get the automatic CPI, so I think I\’ve taken a reasonable position,\” the governor said on April 26, 2013, when he announced his support for the bill. \”I believe that we can get to $9 in two years, an increase that will make it just a little easier for working people in our state without adversely impacting the businesses,\”