WASHINGTON, DC — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday attended a meeting at the White House with Vice President Joseph Biden, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Mary Kay Henry, Director of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling, Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and others to discuss state-level efforts to raise the minimum wage.
Earlier this month, 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.
“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,” Malloy said. “When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers. This modest boost will help those earning the least to make ends meet.”
In the summer of 2013, Malloy signed a bill into law that increased the state minimum wage in two stages: from $8.25 to $8.70 on January 1, 2014, followed by a second increase to $9.00 that is currently scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. The proposal the Governor announced today calls for a slight modification of next year’s increase, bringing the total to $9.15 on January 1, 2015.
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.
Malloy is in Washington, DC to participate in the National Governors Association’s 2014 Winter Meeting. The meeting is an opportunity for a bipartisan group of governors to discuss issues affecting states, share innovative solutions, and look for ways to strengthen the state-federal partnership.
Vice President Joe Biden, shown speaking on right, meets with Democratic governors — including Dannel P. Malloy — on the minimum wage in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. Malloy is fourth from the left, with glasses and sitting directly across from Biden. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann).