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State Senator

Derek Slap

Representing West Hartford, Farmington, Burlington and Bloomfield

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Sen. Slap Joins in Historic Senate Vote on Raising Connecticut’s Minimum Wage

State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) joined his fellow Democratic state senators early this morning in the successful, final passage of a bill that will raise Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour in five yearly steps by June 1, 2023 – a change that will directly benefit a large portion of Connecticut’s workforce and help thousands of additional workers see their wages rise too.

Once the bill is passed and signed into law by Governor Lamont, the first minimum wage increase will take effect on October 1 of this year.

“Last year I introduced and helped pass a landmark pay equity bill, and today is another big step toward my goal of closing the gender wage gap in Connecticut,” Sen. Slap said. “Nearly 60 percent of minimum wage workers in Connecticut are women. This bill will help them. Increasing our minimum wage will help lift children out of poverty, it will help lift families out of poverty, and it will reward hard work.”

At its public hearing in March, Madeline Granato, policy manager for the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund, expressed her support for a $15 minimum wage.

“The current minimum wage in Connecticut is far below what is needed to meet a family’s basic financial needs,” Granato testified. “Incrementally raising the minimum wage to $15 will provide essential relief to working women and their families. Raising the minimum wage will boost economic activity and increase much-needed revenue in our state. Workers who earn more have access to additional disposable income to put directly back into the local economy, support businesses, and pay more in sales tax.”

Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a popular public policy with Connecticut residents: an August 2018 Quinnipiac University poll of more than 1,000 Connecticut residents found that nearly two-thirds (63%) support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 73% of women, 67% of people over age 67, and 65% of people ages 18-24.

House Bill 5004, “AN ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM FAIR WAGE,” increases Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage from the current $10.10 per hour to:

  • $11.00 on October 1, 2019
  • $12.00 on September 1, 2020
  • $13.00 on August 1, 2021
  • $14.00 on July 1, 2022
  • and $15.00 on June 1, 2023

Current state law provides a “tip credit” to employers of hotel and restaurant staff and to bartenders who customarily receive tips. The new minimum wage bill freezes the employer’s share of these employees’ minimum wage requirement at their current values ($6.38 for hotel and restaurant staff, and $8.23 for bartenders), but the bill also requires the tip credit’s value to correspondingly increase to make up for the difference between the employer’s share and the bill’s minimum wage increases.

Today’s minimum wage bill also addresses the issue of so-called training or youth wages. Starting October 1, 2019, the bill changes the “training wage” that employers may pay to learners, beginners, and people under age 18. Current state law generally allows employers to pay these employees as low as 85% of the regular minimum wage for their first 200 hours of employment. Today’s bill eliminates the training wage exceptions for learners and beginners, and now limits the training wage only to people under age 18.

Starting on January 1, 2024, and on each January 1 every year after that, the bill also requires the minimum wage to be adjusted by the percent change in the federal Employment Cost Index (ECI) for all civilian workers’ wages and salaries over the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year.

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