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Connecticut minimum wage to hit $15 this week

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont
Molly Ingram
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont

Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase to $15 on Thursday.

Minimum wage has gone up one dollar every year since 2019. The goal was to put more money in the hands of Connecticut residents without hurting businesses.

Governor Ned Lamont said paying people $15 an hour is the right thing to do — and that's why it was a priority in his administration.

“I come out of the business world. If the way you're making money is on the backs of people, not paying them a decent minimum wage, you're a lousy business person,” Lamont said. “I think you're dead wrong on that.”

Labor and Public Employees Committee chair State Senator Julie Kushner said the increases were vital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know for working families, that it's made a huge difference,” Kushner said. “Nobody anticipated in 2019 how hard life would become in a pandemic. But I'm very confident that one of the things that helped families get through was having an increase in the minimum wage.”

According to the Department of Labor, more than 160,000 Connecticut residents make minimum wage.

Federal minimum wage is $7.25.

Molly is a reporter covering Fairfield County. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.