The State Senate late yesterday approved a bill that would increase the minimum wage in 2009 and 2010. The bill (H.B. 5105), had previously passed the House and now moves to Governor Rell for her signature.
CT News Junkie reports that Gov. Rell has some reservations about the bill:
Gov. M. Jodi Rell is still uncertain about whether she would sign it. Rell’s spokesman Adam Liegeot said in an emailed statement, “While the governor understands the needs of minimum wage workers, she does not want to take any action that will negatively impact businesses and jobs in Connecticut, especially during this troubled economy. Governor Rell will take her time and review this bill closely before deciding what action to take.”
The bill, if signed, will increase in the minimum wage from $7.65 an hour to $8 an hour starting in January 2009 and $8.25 an hour in January 2010. Assuming a 40-hour-work week, the average wage increase for those making minimum wage will be a little over $700 annually.
For most employers in the state, the bill will not have any impact because many workers receive more than the minimum wage. For others who rely on workers at minimum wage, the bill could have a real impact; $700 or so per worker per year could affect those with thin profit margins. However, others will certainly be able to afford the modest increase.
Although the bill did not have full bipartisan support, it did pass the General Assembly overwhelmingly. I would expect the Governor to sign the bill because a veto would likely be overturned by the General Assembly.