A new year means new laws.
Tens of thousands of workers across Connecticut will see a bigger paycheck next month. Minimum wage earners will get an extra 45 cents per hour. A state law will raise minimum wage from $8.25 to $8.70 an hour, the first phase of a two-year plan to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $9.
“I think it’s a good thing,” said Deepak Soni. “People who are earning the minimum wage will have more money to spend for their family.”
State Rep. Peter Tercyak, chairman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, said it’s great news for the state. He said the hike will boost our economy without spending government money.
“Every single penny that goes into increase wages from the minimum wage going up is going to be spent right here at home,” Tercyak said.
Last year lawmakers tried and failed to raise the state’s minimum wage. This year it was met with resistance, but over the summer Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the legislation to put it into action.
“As people looked at it, more and more people realized it was the right thing to do. The economy could take it,” said Rep. Tercyak.
Connecticut is one of 13 states to hike the minimum wage; however, not everybody’s thrilled. Some businesses Fox CT spoke with off camera said it’s coming out of their bottom line.
People who at one time earned minimum wage say the increase is still not enough.
“I think Connecticut has a long way to go, though, for treating the blue collar worker,” said Mark Jablonski.
Jablonski has worked minimum wage jobs for years. He is back in school, hoping a degree will offer him more money to sustain himself.
“You can’t make a living out here with jobs that pay minimum wage,” he said.
People who earn their living off tips, like waiters and bartenders, will not see a bigger paycheck. The minimum wage for tipped workers is not part of this legislation.