John DeStefanoNew Haven Mayor John DeStefano’s campaign for governor announced its proposal to index the minimum wage to inflation Tuesday at Angelo’s Market in New Britain. “Today in Connecticut people are working their way into poverty,” DeStefano said. And while inflation erodes the purchasing power of every family whose wages are frozen, it especially impacts those families that make only minimum wage, he said.
Joseph Tropea, owner of Angelo’s Market, said he pays his employees more than minimum wage and it’s paid off for his business because his customers while they love the Italian food they also enjoy coming back to see the same employees. “If I paid them minimum wage they wouldn’t be here more than three months,” Tropea said. He said some of his employees have been with him from two to 10 years. The current minimum wage in the state is $7.40 an hour. State Rep. Timothy O’Brien, D-New Britain, said it’s important to remember that the last minimum wage increase under law will be Jan. 1, 2007 when it will increase to $7.65 an hour. Rep. Timothy O’BrienIn state’s like Florida, Oregon, and Washington where the minimum wage was indexed to inflation, job growth increased, DeStefano said. “There’s no study anywhere that shows increasing the minimum wage discourages job growth,” DeStefano said. He said the number one complaint of small business owners is not increases in minimum wage, “it’s access to healthcare.”“Make no mistake about it this campaign is about working families,” he said. “The people in the middle trying to make ends meet.” Click here to read the Office of Legislative Research report from 2005. Click here to find out what you need to make to afford housing in Connecticut.