Rep. Simanski Votes Against Controversial Minimum Wage Hike

Posted on May 10, 2019 by admin


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HARTFORD—State Representative Simanski (R-62) on Thursday said the state’s business community can’t afford the crush of anti-employer policies pushed by Democrats and voted against a controversial proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15.

“This bill will be another nail in the coffin for our state’s reputation as a place to do business,” said Rep. Simanski. “If we want jobs and opportunity we need businesses small and large. Businesses are not the enemy and small businesses create the majority of our new jobs. This legislation will decrease the number of entry level jobs available and have a disparate impact on our cities and new workers trying find employment.”

House Democrats cobbled together a ramshackle bill (H.B. 5004) and rolled out it late Wednesday, providing neither Republicans nor the public adequate time to review a proposal that will drive state spending hikes while triggering cost increases for businesses small and large.

The proposal passed largely along party lines on Thursday after a 14 hour debate that saw Republicans launch vigorous opposition that highlighted a variety of concerns, from the bill’s impact on municipal budgets to companies that rely upon seasonal workers.

The bill would increase the minimum wage over a four and a half year period.

Among its more controversial components is a provision allowing the minimum wage increase beyond $15 without legislative approval as it tracks the employment cost index resulting in a fixed cost increase year after year.

In his comments Rep. Simanski shared conversations with employers in his district that will no longer be able to hire additional workers and seasonal help due to the rapid wage increase.

Additionally, Republicans raised concerns about wage compression—that increase will force employers to increase wages of employees who earn just above the minimum wage.

“We talk a lot about opening our state for business and welcoming job creators, but our actions speak louder than our words. This year we have seen a steady stream of mandates and taxes that will make our state more expensive squeezing employers and employees,” Rep. Simanski said. “I urge my colleagues to think about the collateral damage this will cause to our economy and the lost opportunities for entry level job seekers.”

The legislation was passed by the house 85-59 with two Democrats joining all Republicans in opposition. The bill awaits action in the State Senate.