Labor and Public Employees Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-32

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING WORKING FAMILIES' WAGES.

Vote Date:

3/4/2014

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/18/2014

File No.:

24

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Governor Dannel Malloy to implement the budget.

REASONS FOR BILL:

To aid in closing the income equality gap which will in turn encourage economic growth..

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Governor Dannel P. Malloy is proud to submit testimony. A good and decent wage is good for both workers and businesses. This legislation will continue to put hard working individuals and families first and the modest increase will put money back into our economy.

Senator Martin M. Looney supports the bill. Minimum wage earners should be able to cover life's necessities without depending on government subsidies and charity. This bill will build on the increase we passed last year.

Senator Donald E. Williams ,Jr applauded this bill. Income inequality is growing nationwide and we are the second largest in the nation. There is a distinct income divide in Connecticut and these extra dollars will help pay the rent and reduce homelessness.

Senator Robert J. Kane testified against the bill. An employer with twenty employees could see an annual increase of ten thousand dollars for ever twenty-five cents the minimum wage is increased. Raising the minimum wage will force businesses to raise prices and scale back employee hours.

Representative James M. Albis supports the bill. The bill is good for our economy and the taxpayers of Connecticut. Minimum wage has not kept pace with inflation and this increase is a modest request that will improve many lives.

Commissioner Sharon Palmer, Department of Labor spoke in strong support of the bill. The bill would provide workers with a wage that would allow them to better support themselves and their families.

Teresa Younger, The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women supports an increase in the minimum wage. Increasing the wage will assist families in remaining self-sufficient and above the poverty level. PCSW has two research reports that show what is needed to be self-sufficient in Connecticut.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Andy Garfunkel testified in support. When workers are not paid enough the taxpayers have to subsidize those low wages with various government programs.

Alok Bhatt supports the bill. The impact on the Asian Pacific Americans who live in poverty of which there are according to the census data over 6% would be significant.

Tom Swan, Ct Citizens Action Group testified in support of the bill and applauds the Governor. Low wages are just subsidies for large profitable companies and increasing the minimum wage has not caused the sky to fall as opponents have claimed.

Beverly Brakeman,UAW urges support for this bill. Workers cannot live on the present minimum wage. A worker with one child working full time would have to earn $28.19 per hour to meet their basic family needs.

Douglas Wade, Wade's Dairy testified supporting the bill. No one at my company is paid less than the proposed increase. Mr. Wade quoted the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Evelyn Nunez testified in favor of the bill. Those individuals that make only minimum wage struggle to survive and are in a vicious cycle of poverty. Workers' wages should reflect the value.

Jay Kamins, Pixel and Light Design testified in support having been on both sides of the coin as an employer and employee. As a small business owner he pays his employees no less than it takes to support themselves on a full time salary.

Kaitlin Knokel,CIRA supports the bill. The bill does leave the tipped wage earners too low. Tipped workers make up a large part of the state's workforce and these are usually low-wage workers.

Kimberly Glassman, Foundation for Fair Contracting of Connecticut testified in support of the bill. Our state's minimum wage does not represent the cost of living in Connecticut. If the minimum wage kept up with the rate of inflation over the past 40 years it would be $10.74.

Megan Fountain, New Haven Workers Association supports the bill. This is a common sense bill and would decrease the widening gap between low earners and high earners in this state.

James Bhandary-Alexander, New Haven Legal Assistance Association testified in support of the bill. This bill will help the low-wage workers pay more of the essentials for themselves and then they would need less from public and private social service providers.

National Association of Social Workers testified in support of the bill. NASW/CT represents people who are struggling to keep their heads above water financially. This bill would help people out of poverty.

Rev. Josh Pawelek, Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society submitted testimony in support of this bill. The average wage earner working in Connecticut at 40 hours per week earns approximately $18,000 a year. This is not enough money to procure all of life's necessities.

Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO testified in support of the bill. When citizens earn enough money they can buy the things that make up the American Dream and we all prosper.

Rondelynn Bell, NiRo Design Center testified for the bill. There is no shortage of reports on how unequal Connecticut's economy has become. Our small business community should have stepped up and help our state dig its people out of distress.

National Employment Law Project submitted testimony supporting the bill.NELP would also like us to strengthen the tipped minimum wage. Increasing the minimum wage boosts workers' pay without causing job losses.

Roger Senserrich, Connecticut Association for Human Services submitted testimony in strong support. Last year's minimum wage increase was a first solid step in the right direction. He also testified that the minimum wage should be indexed to inflation to 2017 to avoid the steady drop in real terms we have seen in the past decade. Any increase should include a comparable increase for tipped workers.

Connecticut Working Families Organization supports this bill because it is fighting for decent wages for the middle class. Minimum wage workers are on average 35 years old and one quarter have children. This increase would help these workers provide their families a more stable environment and a much needed boost to the local economy.

Lori Pelletier, Connecticut AFL-CIO testified in support of the bill. Raising the minim wage will boost spending which will create a demand which will create jobs.

Ana Maria Rivera Forastieri, Junta for Progressive Action testified for the bill but would like to include increasing tipped worker's wages.

Matt Waggner testified that increasing the minimum wage would improve the lives of thousands of Connecticut residents. Parents must hold down multiple jobs to pay their bills taking time away from their families.

Briana Fernandez submitted testimony in support of the bill. Making the minimum wage does not allow me to move into my own place and go to school. With low minimum wage I am unable to make ends meet.

Arlene Avery testified that raising the minimum wage will stimulate and grow our economy and help those low-wage earners provide for their basic needs.

Andy Rogers submitted testimony supporting the bill. As an instructional aide in 1992 getting $10 an hour was not enough to support our family. Most had multiple jobs just to make ends meet. That was 22 years ago.

Don Alexander supports raising the minimum wage. It is unacceptable for a full time worker to have to work two jobs just to survive.

Constane Welch supports the bill. She challenges anyone to feed just themselves on today's minimum wage.

Jane Kellner supports the bill. Minimum wage should be peg to COLA.

Heidi Tartell supports the bill. The federal poverty rate for a family of 4 is $23,550 and you need to make $21.60 per hour to afford a 2 bedroom apartment in Connecticut. At $10.10 you would only be making $20,200 a year.

Geraldine Klein Robbenhaar supports raising the minimum wage. An annual raise should be more than inflation.

Evelyn Santiago supports raising the minimum wage. As a single mother it is impossible to keep up with expenses.

Kathleen Amoia supports the bill. No one should work for a wage that does not support them on any level.

John Silk supports raising the minimum wage. If it had kept up with inflation in the last 40 years it would be $10.74 an hour.

Jeremy Frost submitted testimony supporting raising the minimum wage. Our country's best economic times have been tied to our workers prosperity.

Marie Farrell supports the bill. I feel that I am making less than I was 25 years ago when I graduated from college.

Taylor Leake supports the bill. Minimum wage has not kept up with inflation since its introduction in 1968.

Sharon Sells supports raising the minimum wage. Being retired and never had to live on minimum wage it seems that in the richest state where some make 8 figure salaries people would pay a little more so someone would not have to work 3 jobs just to survive.

Anne Walker supports the bill. For single mothers who are working, some two jobs, this would be a much help. Raising the minimum wage would allow parents to stay home with their children, take more people off Medicaid and children would not be tempted to make dumb choices to supplement their parent's income.

Linda Pompa testified that raising the minimum wage is good for the economy. Workers with more money in their pockets will spend that extra money in their communities.

Aaliyan Miller submitted testimony in support of the bill. In high school I make $4.50 an hour and that was just my spending money. Today's minimum wage is not enough to adequately support a family.

Ishaira Nieto Rosas supports the bill. Push Connecticut to be a leading state and pave the way for a living wage that supports all families.

Johanna Hibbs submitted testimony in support. Society should not condemn someone into poverty because they cannot fit into college.

Evelyn Santiago testified in support. Our country needs to boost our economy and raising the minimum wage will make our country a better place.

George Oleyer submitted testimony in support. Businesses have achieved record profits on workers' productivity. Inflation adjustment would have the minimum wage at $10.74 today.

Linda Mclean testified in support. Businesses profits would more than pay for the increase in minimum wage.

John O'Donnell testified that a living wage for hard work is a human right.

Katherine Steinmets supports raising the minimum wage. As a PCA making under $10 an hour she must rely on food stamps.

Kristina Conners supports raising the minimum wage. More money is needed to just afford the basics.

Lynda Lawson submitted testimony supporting raising the minimum wage. Having lived in Connecticut since 1974 everything has gone up but the minimum wage.

Marjorie Freeman testified that a higher minimum wage would help the local economy and Ct. tax revenues.

Roberta Paro submitted testimony in support. It is disrespectful to suggest that anyone on this country should live in poverty.

Susan Kulis supports the bill. Workers can't survive on the current minimum wage.

Shaun Havanec supports raising the minimum wage but thinks $10.10 is not enough.

The following people submitted testimony in support of raising the minimum wage.

Shawn Havanec, Julie Gervacio, Lisa Serrano, Steven Soto, Mayra Vajguy, Carmen Maruro, Osvaldo Lopez, Kevin Young, Richard Torres, Jim Michael, Miguel Morales, Rodney Kluessendorg, Cheryl Taylor, Rebecca Vilafino, Robert Morales, Elias Rivera, Awilda Cormil, Nancy Fustek, Rafael Garcia, Andres Rodrighez, Chris Brooks, Alejandro Cruz, Ellis Vazqauez, Carlos Gonzalez, Angel Roswrio, Keith Salley, Carlos Candelario, Shawn DeJesus, Tim Orvivo, Rughie Rosario, Taina Santiago, Latchimi Saffan, Felix Morales, Mayna Meleoz, Oscar Torres, Jason Diaz, Nesgor Vergara, Anthony Van Leuvan, Yamilka Garcia, Glenda Rudnguer.

The following people submitted “I support a raise in the minimum wage.”

Timothy Alstrum, Agnes Kurzyna, Victoria Usher, Barbara Griffin, Donna White, David Longobucco, Cindy Guarnieri, Charlie Burns, Brian Anderson, Elizabeth Gullen, Hilary Operman, Helen Keegan, Grace Adams, Frank Ferro, Karlene Mitchell, John Chartier, Jim Horan, Kelli Kirk, Maya U, Margaret Wiernasz, Marcia Kindlmann, Lorraine King, Lori Armstrong, Liz Nargiso, Linda Josey, Leona Klerer, Laura Murphy, Peter Benson, Paul Bertin, Ruth Labbe, Richard Watson, Robert Andrews, Kathleen Hill, Heather Oliver, Alice Kosowsky, Ana Arroyo, Todney Harris, Robert Nesmith, Rolando Perez, Michelle Hampson, Mary Orsillo, Janice Messino, Carol Taylor, Woodson Duncan, Venny Keith, Margaret Wiernasz, Thomas Bruenn, Susan Trelease, Stephen Haskell, Sophie Tworkowski, Shirley Glass, Blanche Goodwin, Bernie McKinnon, Ashley K, Nick Caldarola, Buddy Cage, Catherine Griffin, Chris Doob Doob, Diana Waller, Don and Brad Noel, Dorothy Lovett Buckley, Eleanor Nettleton, Heidi Zehnder, James Root, Jane White-Hassler, Jay Ames, Jeffrey Pardo, Dawn Grant, Francis Davila, Frederick Hartung, Laura Rozza, Layte Jefferson, Julie MacPhail, Katrina Bercaw, Lois Stevens, Margaret Sellers, Peggy Murphy, Michelle Speranza, Sarah Magidson, Robert Hutchings, Richard Poole, Richard Davy, Rev, Brian Hutchinson, Susan Wishinski, Leona Kelrer, Stephen V. Kobasa, Stephanie C. Fox, Simon Pinsky,

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce opposes the bill. Any increase to the minimum wage would send the wrong message to the business community and deter any out of state business that might be considering relocation.

Jerry Brick, Lake Compounce Family Theme Park testified in opposition to the bill. Competing businesses in neighboring states are positioned to having a pricing advantage over us because of a disparity in payroll. Increasing the minimum wage by $.25 would increase weekly payroll by $5,860.

George Frantizis II Quassy Amusement & Waterpark testified against the bill. The increase in payroll increases workers compensation costs, unemployment costs and payroll taxes

Henry Talmage, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association, opposes the bill. Raising the minimum wage would put farm producers at a greater competitive disadvantage. Connecticut currently has the third highest farm labor costs per $100 of farm sales in the nation.

Eric Gjede, CBIA opposes the bill. In a number of surveys Connecticut ranked nationally as a bad place to do business. CNBC ranked CT as 45th out of 50 states for business, citing high costs and the cost of living as some of the contributing factors.

Daniel V. D'Aprile, D&D Stores, Inc. opposes the bill. Raising the minimum wage will add another burden to small business owners. Raising the minimum wage will force businesses to reduce their workforce and change full time staff to part time staff.

Connecticut Marine Trades Association, testified against the bill. Minimum wage jobs are entry level positions that allow employers to assess and evaluate an employee's fit. This is an excessive step and would make another unnecessary burden on employer's costs of business.

Andy Markowski, National Federation of Independent Businesses, opposes the bill. Businesses will be forced to expend additional unanticipated monies from their operating budgets if this legislation passes. Small business provide a direct benefit to the economy.

Dr. Chip Beckett, DVM, Beckett & Associates Veterinary Services, LLC opposes the bill. The minimum wage is a training wage and most are temporary or seasonal not year round permanent positions.

Tim Adams, Owner, J Timothy's Taverne opposes the bill. Currently he has no minimum wage employees at his restaurant but minimum wage is not meant to support a family it is for those entering the workforce with a limited skill set.

Brian Casey, Ninety-Nine Restaurants, opposes the bill. The present system works for tipped employees and should not be changed. The present system keeps menu prices down for the customer. If passed this bill will hurt the chances of our company and many others from opening more restaurants in Connecticut.

David McCoart, Sage American Grill &Oyster Bar submitted testimony against the bill. As a semi seasonal company that employees 40 people this bill would be a Job Killer. Managing costs will not allow me to hire more employees if you increase the minimum wage.

Sue Torgerson does not support the bill.

Robert Cowles, Cougar Electronics Corp. does not support the bill. The problem is the ripple effect that occurs with having to increase other employees to keep them above the new hire who makes minimum wage.

Deborah Hoyt, Connecticut Association for Healthcare At Home submitted testimony against the bill. The proposed increase will create a serious financial challenge for home health agencies. We can only pay our employees based upon the revenue earned by providing client services.

David Krett opposes the bill. If you raise the minimum wage you must require Homemaker/Companion Registries to make their employees W2's. We want to stay in Connecticut but the burdens put on us make it almost impossible.

Connecticut Restaurant Association opposes the bill. Wage mandates are an ineffective way to reduce poverty. This bill would make restaurant operators eliminate jobs, cut staff hours and increase prices.

Donald Tuller, President, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association opposes the bill. The increase in minimum wage will disproportionately impact small organic farmers who cannot afford to mechanize.

Ben Thomas, President, New England Machine Tools submitted testimony against the bill. As a small manufacturer who pays all my employees above the minimum wage I am opposing the bill as a matter of principle. In a time of high unemployment raising the cost of doing business will motivate companies to outsource more jobs and shift employees to part time jobs.

Keith Bolles opposes the bill. Business is already difficult in Connecticut and this will only make it more difficult.

Reported by: Pamela Bianca

03/21/2014