Connecticut Passes Nation's Highest Minimum Wage Law

On Thursday, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a new minimum wage law, making it the first state to raise the minimum wage to $10.10, and as expected the bill has sparked a partisan battle. While Democrats argue that the law will pull people out of poverty, Republicans contend that the increase will be harmful to Connecticut businesses.

Gov. Malloy said in a statement that, “increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it’s also good for business.” Malloy added that the increase will help to put money back into the pockets of people who can now spend it in their communities.

In both houses, every Republican, except for one in the Senate, opposed the bill. Some Republicans who have voted previously voted for wage increases said that nothing has changed since then except Democrats looking to put wage equality at the center of the 2014 election. John McKinney, the Senate Minority leader, said that the statements made by Malloy are “inconsistent with someone who has raised their taxes dramatically.”

However, Democrats in both houses are applauding the bill for giving workers a better chance to provide for their families. President Obama was among those who showed his support as he issued a statement urging Congress to follow the actions of Connecticut and raise the federal minimum wage.

The law calls for an increase on January 1 of each year. In 2015 it will increase to $9.15, $9.60 in 2016, and in 2017 it will increase to $10.10.