February 25, 2014
By Stephanie West
Washington, DC – Governor Dannel P. Malloy attended a meeting at the White House Friday February 21st with Vice President Joseph Biden , U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry, and others to discuss state-level efforts to raise the minimum wage.
Earlier this month, Governor Malloy introduced legislation that will increase the state minimum wage to $10.10, mirroring recent national efforts by President Obama and other Congressional leaders to raise the federal minimum wage to that same amount. The increase would give Connecticut the highest minimum wage in the nation.
“Governor Malloy is doing extraordinary work in Connecticut to lift their minimum wage and give more hardworking Americans a raise,” said President Obama.
“There is a debate happening across our country on how to tackle the growing income inequality that is detrimental to our middle class families and to our economy. Part of tackling that critically important challenge is making sure that we recognize that a decent wage is good for workers and good for business,” said Governor Malloy. “For too long, the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living. As studies have shown, the workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase brought home 46 percent of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011. When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers. This modest boost will help those earning the least to make ends meet.”
Out of Connecticut’s workforce of 1.7 million people, it is estimated that there are currently 70,000 to 90,000 workers who earn the minimum wage. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up about two-thirds of all workers who were paid minimum wage or less in 2012, and 61 percent of full-time minimum wage workers.
The Governor’s proposal means that an employee working 40-hours per week would earn $21,008 per year. Currently, the federal poverty guideline for a family of four is $23,850.