Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed raising Connecticut's minimum wage to above $10.00 an hour.
The minimum wage in the Nutmeg State just went up last month to $8.70 an hour. Under legislation passed last year, it will rise again to $9.00 an hour next January, but according to the governor, that's not enough.
"The reality," Malloy told a news conference, "is that the economy is improving, and has been improving. Corporate profits are at records in many industries across the board. There are 70,000 to 90,000 people on a seasonal basis working in our state for wages that don't allow them to sustain themselves."
Malloy said the wage should be at $10.10 by 2017, the level embraced by President Barack Obama in his State of Union address. Business groups aren't pleased: the National Federation of Independent Business asked the governor why his thinking has changed so dramatically since the beginning of his tenure, when he wanted to wait and see on a wage hike.
Malloy said that times have changed, and the economy has improved. He also pointed to polls that suggest a higher minimum wage has bipartisan support among voters. "Now that we can do this," he said, "we should do this. Anyone who's against it -- any Republican, Democrat or Independent who's against it -- first answer the question, would you work for it? And if the answer's no, then let's talk about having an honest discussion in our state, and in our nation, about what it takes to maintain an individual -- to have a decent lifestyle that we would aspire for ourselves, our children, or our grandchildren."
Malloy's accelerated plan was enthusiastically endorsed by Democratic leaders in the legislature, who backed last year's bill.