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Connecticut governor signs bill to gradually raise minimum wage to $15

Connecticut governor signs bill to gradually raise minimum wage to $15

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Tuesday signed a bill to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, which will impact more than 300,000 workers.

Lamont joined in with the crowd cheering as he signed the legislation into law at a nursing home, the Hartford Courant reported.

The law will raise the minimum wage incrementally, starting with a raise from current standard of $10.10 to $11 an hour in October. The bumps will continue until it eventually reaches the $15 an hour minimum in 2023.

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“We tried and failed a couple of times, and this year we got it done,” Lamont told the crowd. “As Joe BidenJoe BidenSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Ex-Trump appointee arrested in Capitol riot complains he won't be able to sleep in jail Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits MORE might have said, this is a big deal.”

The law does include a provision for 16 and 17-year-old employees called a “training wage” to appease employees who hire seasonal help. Teenagers all receive 85 percent of the minimum wage for 90 days before receiving the full amount.

Connecticut is the seventh state, along with the District of Columbia, to implement a $15 minimum wage. 

Democratic lawmakers in the state have fought for the legislation for 7 years and Lamont said that the legislation is a “big win” for families, WFSB reported.

"Women of color, many single parents but parents, one out of five kids in this state grows up with a minimum wage parent," Lamont said. 

Small business owners, however, said they were concerned that the higher minimum wage would require them to cut jobs and reduce employees hours, WFSB reported.

David Pellizon, the manager of Forum Plastics, told the outlet that he plans to take his business out of state. He currently employs more than 150 people.

"We just can't afford to stay here and it's very sad," Pellizon told the outlet. "To have a 50 percent increase in four years is going to drive us out of here and I'm sure there are other business, once they look at this really closely, they'll realize we are really in the same position.”

Lamont earlier this month invited women-owned businesses in states with bills restricting abortion access to move to Connecticut.