Osten Calls GOP Vote to Kill Minimum Wage Bill “Shameful”
Reacting to the Connecticut Senate Republicans blocking legislation to raise the minimum wage, State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today released the following statement:
“I think it is truly shameful that Republicans have chosen to kill a Senate Bill that would benefit the working people of the State of Connecticut by refusing to allow it to be debated by the full legislature,” said Osten, who serves as Vice Chair of the General Assembly’s Labor & Public Employees Committee.
Osten continued, “I maintain that it is vitally important that we take action to raise the minimum wage to a living wage in Connecticut. When hard working people struggle to make ends meet because they simply cannot earn enough working two, and even three, jobs, it hurts their families and the state’s economy.
“These families often have to turn to the state for assistance because the private sector refuses to pay employees a fair wage. The so-called fiscally conservative Republican Party should surely understand that taxpayers end up subsidizing these corporations when we allow business to step on the poorest of the poor.
“I am however heartened by the fact that the House bill which also seeks to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 is still moving forward. This fight is far from over.”
Numerous public opinion polls have shown deep and bipartisan public support for minimum wage increases in Connecticut.
A March 2016 poll showed 61 percent of Connecticut residents supported increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The measure was especially popular with unaffiliated voters, women, and people under age 50. Respondents argued that employees who are paid wages too low to live on often end up relying on government assistance, and that means that every single Connecticut state taxpayer ends up personally subsidizing the profit margins of private corporations that pay poverty-level wages.
An April 2012 poll showed 90 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of unaffiliated voters and 50 percent of Republicans supported increasing in Connecticut’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. 80 percent of residents with incomes less than $50,000 a year—and 80 percent of residents with income exceeding $100,000 a year—supported increasing the minimum wage. Three-quarters of women in that poll supported increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage.