The Connecticut State Senate has approved legislation to increase the state’s minimum wage from $10.10 (£7.97) an hour to $15 (£11.84) an hour by 2023.
The senate approved the bill on 17 May 2019 with a vote of 21-14; the House of Representatives issued its approval of the legislation the week prior to this. The bill is now being transferred to Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont (pictured), who will sign it into law.
Lamont said: “Working families are the backbone of our state; if they are not financially stable, Connecticut will never be. With this increase in minimum wage, thousands of hard-working women and men, many of whom are supporting families, will get a modest increase that will help lift them out of poverty, combat persistent pay disparities between races and genders and stimulate our economy. This is a fair, gradual increase for the working women and men who will invest the money right back into our economy and continue supporting local businesses in their communities.
“I’m proud that Democrats came together and took another strong step forward to protect working families. I particularly want to acknowledge state representative Robyn Porter and state senator Julie Kushner, whose leadership in their respective chambers ensured this bill received final legislative approval.”
Once enacted, the first minimum wage increase will take effect on 1 October 2019, raising pay to $11 (£8.68) an hour. This will further increase to $12 (£9.47) an hour on 1 September 2020, $13 (£10.26) an hour on 1 August 2021, $14 (£11.05) an hour on 1 July 2022 and finally $15 an hour on 1 June 2023.
From 1 January 2024, the minimum wage will be indexed to the employment cost index, which is calculated by the US Department of Labor.
Governor Susan Bysiewicz added: “Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour brings Connecticut one step closer to eliminating the gender pay gap because nearly 60% of minimum wage earners in our state are women.
“I applaud the members of the State Senate for standing with women across our state and voting in favour of legislation to increase the minimum wage. Women’s issues are economic issues and if we want to grow our economy, we need to ensure that women have financial security in order to provide for their families.”