While the legislature this week approved a new series of increases in the state’s minimum wage that will raise it to $10.10 over the next three years, lawmakers still can reject other proposals that would also raise business costs, and approve measures that would reduce them.

SB 32 increases Connecticut’s current minimum wage of $8.70 to $9.15 in Jan. 2015; to $9.60 in January 2016; and finally to $10.10 in January 2017.  The legislation will give Connecticut the state the highest minimum wage in the U.S.

The nationwide attention the state is receiving for passage of the minimum wage increase will further contribute to rankings, evidenced in several nationwide surveys released this past year, showing Connecticut as one of the costliest states in which to do business.

We need to change these rankings for the better in order to attract more businesses, help Connecticut companies succeed, and create more opportunities for our citizens.

More Opportunities

State lawmakers can still reject other bills that will increase the cost of doing business in the state and harm our business climate. 

Among those negative proposals is SB 249, which creates a mandate on many employers to facilitate a government-run retirement plan in their workplace. See more details in the “Four Bills that Could Impact State’s Business Rankings” story.

Positive Idea

On the other hand, legislators have the opportunity to pass some measures that will help businesses compete and create jobs in Connecticut.

These include HB 5314, which would apply about $60 million of the state’s expected budget surplus to pay down a portion of the interest on debt owed to keep the state’s unemployment compensation system afloat. See more details in the “Four Bills that Could Impact State’s Business Rankings” story.

Connecticut’s business climate took a hit with passage of the minimum wage increase.  CBIA urges legislators who support these and other business cost-raising bills to consider carefully the barrier to job creation created by our reputation as a high cost, business unfriendly state–and reject bills that will increase that perception. 

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Gjede at 860.244.1931 | eric.gjede@cbia.com | @egjede