Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

February 21, 2017

In their First Act of Power Purchased for them by CBIA, Senate Republicans Kill Senate Minimum Wage Bill

Senate Republicans Choose Lobbyist Money Over Working People

Reacting to the Connecticut Senate Republicans blocking legislation to raise the minimum wage, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today released the following statements:

“Today, we learned that the detached and divided public spirit of President Donald Trump is alive and well right here in Connecticut, as the Connecticut Senate Republicans’ first official act under our new, bipartisan power-sharing agreement was to turn their backs on some of the hardest working and most needy people of Connecticut by dividing the Labor and Public Employees Committee to block the Senate version of the minimum wage bill. Fortunately, the House version was adopted on a party-line vote with all Democrats in support and all Republicans opposed.” said Senator Looney.

“Thousands upon thousands of Connecticut families work minimum wage jobs. For parents trying to make ends meet, for the blue collar workers hanging sheetrock or changing your oil, for single moms working two or three jobs to provide the basic necessities for their children, there may be no more important and pressing issue than earning a fair, adequate and more ‘livable’ hourly wage. A sufficient minimum wage for the working people of Connecticut is not some sort of luxury—it is an absolute necessity,” Looney continued.

“Year after year, the public’s voice on this matter has been made crystal clear; now Republicans have turned a deaf ear,” said Senator Duff.

Senator Duff continued, “Today is not a proud day for the Connecticut General Assembly. In fact, it is a very sad day. Senate Republicans have failed their first real test of leadership for the people of Connecticut who they claim to represent: Republicans have put pure political calculation ahead of a popular and demonstrable public need.

“If this is the Connecticut Republicans’ definition of leadership, if these are the public policies that they will kill and dismantle if given some greater opportunity to govern, then Connecticut residents face a very sad and dismal future.”

Poll after public poll has shown deep and bipartisan public support for minimum wage increases in Connecticut.

A March 2016 poll showed 61 percent of Connecticut residents supported increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022. The measure was especially popular with unaffiliated voters, women, and people under age 50; they argued that employees who are paid wages too low to live on often end up relying on government assistance, and that means that every single Connecticut state taxpayer ends up personally subsidizing the profit margins of private corporations that pay poverty-level wages.

An April 2012 poll showed 90 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of unaffiliated voters and half of Republicans supported increasing in Connecticut’s minimum wage from $8.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. 80 percent of residents with incomes less than $50,000 a year—and 80 percent of residents with income exceeding $100,000 a year—supported increasing the minimum wage. Three-quarters of women in that poll supported increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage.