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Connecticut Proposal to Raise Minimum Wage Dies at End of Legislative Session

May 23, 2012

House Bill 5291, which proposed to aggressively raise Connecticut’s minimum wage, died at the end of the legislative session without approval from the state Senate.

As originally introduced, the bill proposed to increase the minimum wage from $8.25 to $9.00 on July 1, 2012 and to $9.75 on July 1, 2013. The bill was subsequently amended such that the proposed increase in the minimum wage would be $8.75 as of January 1, 2013 and $9.25 as of January 1, 2014. The bill was amended again to further reduce the increase, to $8.50 as of January 1, 2013 and $8.75 as of January 1, 2014. The amended bill also removed a provision that would have required the State Labor Commissioner to raise the minimum wage on a yearly basis in accordance with the consumer price index.

The scaled-back bill was passed by the Connecticut House of Representatives by a vote of 88 to 62 on April 26, 2012. Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy was lukewarm about the initial proposal but indicated that he would sign the watered-down bill that had been passed by the House.

However, the bill could not garner the support needed in the Senate. Republicans criticized the bill, arguing that it would hurt already struggling business without providing any real help to low-wage workers.

The bill ultimately died at the end of the legislative session at midnight, May 9, 2012.

We will monitor the next legislative session for a resurrection or rebirth of this legislation in some new form.

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