Minimum-Wage Bill Runs Into Trouble

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Courant political reporter Daniela Altimari writes:

The compromise minimum wage bill that cleared the House of Representatives last week currently does not have enough support to win passage in the state Senate.

With the session set to end at midnight on May 9, time is running out. But the chief proponent of the bill, House Speaker Chris Donovan, is not ready to concede defeat.

\”We\’re still working on it,\’\’ Donovan said Tuesday night. \”We hope to have a vote soon and pass it.\’\’

Senate Democratic leaders learned they did not have the votes to pass the bill during a closed-door caucus on the measure earlier on Tuesday, said Adam Joseph, Senate Democratic spokesman.

The proposal, which passed the House on a vote of 88 to 62 on Thursday, would raise the state’s $8.25 hourly minimum wage to $8.50 an hour on Jan. 1 and $8.75 in 2014.

That’s significantly scaled back from the initial proposal put forth by Donovan, a Democrat from Meriden who is running for Congress. As crafted by Donovan, the bill would have set the minimum wage at $9 an hour on July 1, and to $9.75 an hour in July 2013. After that, it would have been linked to the Consumer Price Index to help low-wage workers\’ salaries keep pace with inflation.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who was lukewarm on the initial proposal, said last week he would sign the more modest increase that was approved by the House.

But even the watered down wage hike drew harsh criticism from House Republicans, who said it would hurt already struggling businesses while failing to provide any real help to low-wage workers. Proponents said it would provide a bit of help to those workers, who would likely spend the extra cash – about $10 a week.

Donovan said he is focused on correcting what he called \”misinformation\” about the bill, including the complexities of how the credit for workers paid through tips. \”We\’re having some good discussions,\’\’ Donovan said. \”I think its a good idea to raise the minimum wage, it had a lot of support in the House and the governor said he\’ll sign it.\”
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, an opponent of raising the minimum wage, agreed with Donovan that the bill\’s not dead yet.
\”I hope it doesn\’t pass, but I\’ve seen my colleagues on the other side of the aisle switch their vote on the death penalty, I\’ve seen them switch their vote on tax increases and a whole host of other issues because of either political pressure or political convenience,\’\’ McKinney said. \”So I\’m not going to hold my breathe until midnight May 9.\”
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5 thoughts on “Minimum-Wage Bill Runs Into Trouble

  1. so unfair

    ok – we give sergeant’s and lieutenants massive pay raises (not saying they don’t deserve it), but let’s not give hard workers a 25 cent raise? Some kind of justice?

  2. Dr. Aki Bola, Esq.

    Those stingy SOB’s should make the minimum $50/hour effective immediately and eradicate poverty.

  3. Harry

    Lets do this the State Police officer way and submit the bill and then not take a stand for 30 days and it becomes law and no one can say who is for or against. Oh, the minimum wage people would have to be the special privileged and be state workers to get special treatment.

    And members of the legislature wonder why people have such little opinion of them.

  4. Fred

    I would like to be in the position of granting pay raises. Politicians would be last on the list. Why in ‘ell those who need a raise the most, get by on the least.
    Must be an election year!

  5. Anderson Scooper

    How many minimum-wage employees work for State Senator Cassano’s day care, “The Children’s Place”? Shame on him for voting against this $10/week inflation adjustment.

    The fact of the matter is it has been three years at the rate of $8.25/hour, or $330/week. However, because of inflation the $330/week is now the equivalent of just $308!

    So jerks like Cassano aren’t really voting to keep the minimum wage the same. Instead they’re effectively lowering it.

    Here’s hoping Manchester Democrats will wake-up and vote Cassano out…

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