| MILFORD, Conn., March 27
MILFORD, Conn., March 27 Connecticut Governor
Dannel Malloy plans to sign into law on Thursday a measure that
will phase in the highest minimum wage of any U.S. state, in
line with a national Democratic push to raise the entry-level
The measure, which was approved by legislators a day
earlier, would raise the state's minimum hourly rate to $10.10
per hour, a figure that matches what U.S. President Barack Obama
has asked Congress to consider imposing nationally.
Malloy will sign the bill Thursday at 6 p.m. in the same New
Britain diner, Café Beauregard in the heart of what is known as
the "hardware city," where he appeared earlier this month with
Obama and three other New England governors: Deval Patrick of
Massachusetts, Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Lincoln Chafee of
Rhode Island. All are Democrats who have pushed to raise the
minimum wage in their states.
New Britain, located in the center of the state, has been
hard hit by the economic downtown with the household median
income at about $35,000, compared with the state's nearly
"This modest increase will give working families a boost,
and it will contribute to our economy by getting just a little
more money into the pockets of people who spend it in their
communities," Malloy said following the bill's legislative
approval late Wednesday.
Advocates of raising the minimum wage argue that doing so
will improve the standard of living of working families and help
to close the gap between the average earnings of men and women.
Opponents warn that it could slow job creation or even lead
companies to lay workers off at a time when the U.S. economy is
struggling with high unemployment.
Obama's call for a higher national minimum has not gotten
backing in the Republican-controlled U.S. House of
Connecticut's minimum wage currently stands at $8.70 per
hour, and the bill will be phased in to $10.10 over three years.
The current highest state minimum wage in the United States is
Washington's $9.32, above the $7.25 federal minimum.
Malloy is up for re-election this year and state Republicans
have called the measure a politically influenced move.
(Editing by Scott Malone and Gunna Dickson)