The Connecticut Low Wage Employer Advisory Board has issued a report calling for the state to begin efforts that would result in raising the minimum wage to $15 by the end of 2021.
The state minimum wage is scheduled to increase from $9.60 to $10.10 on Jan. 1. While Connecticut was the first state to approve a $10.10 hourly wage level, it runs the risk of being eclipsed by others, including New York, where a $15 hourly minimum wage will be in effect by 2022.
“People who work full-time should not be living in poverty,” said James Bhandary-Alexander, a New Haven legal aid attorney and chairman of the Connecticut Low Wage Employer Advisory Board, in announcing the report. “The single most effective policy tool is raising the minimum wage.”
However, Andrew Markowski, Connecticut director for the National Federation of Independent Business, told the Hartford Courant that it would be “downright irresponsible” to implement the board’s recommendation.
“The minimum wage rate was never intended to feed entire families nor is it something that people should strive to earn,” Markowski said. “It is an entry-level wage designed to give those with little prior experience a place to start so that ultimately they can acquire additional skills and move on to higher earning positions.”