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Lamont signs minimum wage bill into law

HARTFORD — Tuesday was a big day for minimum wage workers in Connecticut as the Governor signed his biggest piece of legislation to date. The minimum wage bill. Governor Lamont called it a win for the state of Connecticut. By signing the bill into law, it means more than 330,000 CT employees will be getting about a 10 percent raise come October.

The minimum wage is going up to $15 an hour by 2023. “We tried and failed a couple of times and this year we got it done,” said Gov. Lamont.

The Governor put pen to paper at the Parkville Care Center in Hartford. “You heard that’s $40 a week. What that $40 can do for people, said the Governor.

Fast food workers told FOX61 it’s a day they’ve been waiting for. Kyra Franklin, of Hartford works at Wendy’s. “I’m speechless. It’s a dream come true.” Richard Grimes of Hartford works at Burger King. He said, “Just little things. It’s the little things that count. I can finally afford the things I need and pay all my bills instead of trying to struggle between one bill or another.”

Rep. Robyn Porter was instrumental in getting the bill passed in the House after 14 hours of debate. “From the bottom of my heart this is so personal. I have been that single mom raising two kids working 3 jobs.

Sen. Julie Kushner pushed it to the Governors office in the senate. “When we voted that night and we walked out to address the press, Marty turned to me with such excitement and enthusiasm and said to me, tonight we are all Democrats.”

The details of the new law freeze wages for $6.38 for wait staff and $8.23 for bartenders. But tips have to get them to $15 an hour or the business will have to fill the gap. The new law also includes a youth training wage at 85% of the minimum wage for those under 18 for the first 200 hours of employment.

After it hits $15 in 2023, the minimum wage will be indexed to inflation. The sidekick to this bill is the paid family medical leave bill.  The Governor gave us an update on that. He said they are very close to having a bill he can support after he threatened to veto the Senate version.

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