by David Biklen
A $15/hour wage bill— House Bill No. 6208, An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage for CT employees— is on the floor of the CT House of Representatives for consideration. The Labor and Public Employees Committee of the CT General Assembly approved the bill last week and sent it to the House. The bill increases the minimum wage in 5 yearly, one dollar steps to $15/hour by 2023.
The Annual Meeting of the CT Conference of the United Church of Christ voted last year in support of a $15 minimum wage. This minimum wage was also the subject of a petition of support signed by 425 friends and members of the East Hartford First Congregational Church and of 4 Hartford congregations of the United Church of Christ – Faith Congregational Church, Center Church, Immanuel Congregational Church, and Asylum Hill Congregational Church. In December 2016, the petition calling for a $15 wage was delivered to the governor and lieutenant governor, legislative leaders, and 14 Hartford area legislators.
This is good news. A bill for a $15 wage is moving on its way. Thanks to all who have supported and worked on bringing the $15 wage to the attention of legislators.
The bill still requires close attention. The proposal has significant opposition. Adoption is not assured. The Labor Committee approved the bill with but a one-vote margin. Significantly, however, leadership of the House and Democratic leadership of the Senate support an increased minimum wage. And there is strong support from other Senators and Representatives.
Before the bill is acted on in the House, it might get referred to other legislative committee for consideration. If that happens, the receiving committee can amend the bill, kill the bill, or approve the bill and resend it to the House. If the House considers the bill, it might be approved without change and is subject to amendment on the floor or to a negative vote.
If approved by the House, the bill will be sent to the Connecticut Senate where it will also be subject to reference to further committees. If the Senate decides to debate and vote on the bill, it will be subject to amendment on the floor of the Senate.
The legislative process is designed to be long and arduous - and it is. The process is full of speed bumps and sinkholes. That is why continued attention to the bill is required. Please contact your House and Senate legislators and tell them of your abiding interest in a fairer wage for CT. Find your legislator's contact information by entering your address at: openstates.org/find_your_legislator/.
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