Posted on May 9, 2019 by jpheasant
HARTFORD – State Representative Robin Green (R-55) on Thursday said the state’s business community can’t afford the crush of anti-employer policies pushed by the majority party and voted against a controversial proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.
HB-5004, An Act Increasing the Minimum Fair Wage, would increase the state’s current wage of $10.10 to $15 over a four and a half year timeframe. As of October 1st, the wage would increase to $11.00 effective October 1, 2019, to $12.00 effective September 1, 2020, to $13.00 effective August 1, 2021, to $14.00 effective July 1, 2022, and $15.00 effective June 1, 2023.
During the 14 hour debate, Republican lawmakers called multiple amendments to implement changes to the bill that would have lessened the blow to local municipalities, non-profit organizations, and individuals in the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (IDD) community. Despite their best efforts, Rep. Green and her Republican colleagues were unable to prevent the bill from moving passing without having some input into its final language.
“I completely agree that we need to pay those working in minimum wage jobs more per hour, but I think that the rate in which we are increasing this wage will have a lot of unintended immediate consequences which this bill does not address,” Rep. Green said. “Connecticut lost more than 3,000 jobs since the beginning of the year and the timing of this increase is going to hurt a lot of people looking for employment and many of our small businesses that would normally employ them.”
The bill, which was initially discussed during Tuesday’s Appropriations Committee was promised by chairs of the committee to only be a ‘work in progress.’ During the meeting, it was brought to the committee’s attention that Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz chose to add the bill to the following day’s House session while the committee was still having discussions on the bill’s language.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle began their discussions shortly after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night and concluded them on Thursday afternoon. When the final vote was taken, the bill passed 85-59 with six absentees. Two Democrats also voted in opposition to the bill.
The bill will now head to the Senate for a vote.