Marilyn Moore


Marilyn Moore



May 17, 2019

Senator Moore Applauds Senate Passage Of Minimum Wage Legislation

HARTFORD, CT – Today, the Senate passed a bill designed to raise Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour in five yearly steps by June 1, 2023, and then indexing the minimum wage to the federal Employment Cost Index after that. Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) praised the passage of the bill.

“Today is a great day for Connecticut working families,” said Senator Moore. “I’ve anticipated this day since I introduced a “Fight for Fifteen” legislation in 2015. I salute the work the Labor Committee has done to bring it to fruition. As a result, we will begin to lift low-income families out of poverty. Too many families across our state are living paycheck to paycheck. Too many women and people of color are disproportionately low-wage workers and struggle daily to make ends meet. This legislation will put more money in the pockets of individuals, lift families out of poverty, and finally gives Connecticut workers the honest wage they deserve. It’s a start and long overdue.”

House Bill 5004, “An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage,” increases Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage from the current $10.10 per hour to:

  • $11.00 on October 1, 2019
  • $12.00 on September 1, 2020
  • $13.00 on August 1, 2021
  • $14.00 on July 1, 2022
  • $15.00 on June 1, 2023

Current state law provides a “tip credit” to employers of hotel and restaurant staff and to bartenders who customarily receive tips. The tip credit allows employers to count these employee tips as a percentage of their minimum wage requirement, thus reducing the employer’s share of the minimum wage — as long as the tips make up the difference.

The new minimum wage bill freezes the employer’s share of these employees’ minimum wage requirement at their current values ($6.38 for hotel and restaurant staff, and $8.23 for bartenders), but the bill also requires the tip credit’s value to correspondingly increase to make up for the difference between the employer’s share and the bill’s minimum wage increases. Thus, it allows employers to count these employees’ tips towards the difference between the employer’s share and the increasing minimum wage, as long as the tips make up the difference.

The bill also addresses the issue of so-called training or youth wages. Starting October 1, 2019, the bill changes the “training wage” that employers may pay to learners, beginners, and people under age 18. Current state law generally allows employers to pay these employees as low as 85% of the regular minimum wage for their first 200 hours of employment. Today’s bill eliminates the training wage exceptions for learners and beginners, and now limits the training wage only to people under age 18 (except for emancipated minors.) Therefore, today’s bill requires learners and beginners who are at least age 18 to be paid the full minimum wage.

The bill also requires the training wage to be the greater of $10.10 or 85% of the minimum wage, and it allows employers to pay the training wage to people under age 18 for the first 90 days, rather than 200 hours, of their employment.

Starting on January 1, 2024, and on each January 1 every year after that, the bill requires the minimum wage to be adjusted by the percent change in the federal Employment Cost Index (ECI) for all civilian workers’ wages and salaries over the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

An August 2018 Quinnipiac University poll of more than 1,000 Connecticut state residents found that nearly two-thirds of state residents (63%) support increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, including 73% of women, 67% of people over age 67, 65% of people ages 18-24, 56% of unaffiliated voters, and 33% of Republicans.

Once signed by Governor Lamont, the bill will become law.