Senate Attempts to Change Wage Tax Bill to Minimum Wage Hike
Lawmakers in the Senate amended a bill to again hike the state’s minimum wage, but the measure was withdrawn after a three-hour filibuster by GOP senators and tepid support in the House.
Already scheduled to rise to $10.10 per hour next January, the minimum wage would have continued to $12 per hour by the year 2020 had the amended bill passed.
SB 391 initially imposed a tax of up to $1 per hour on businesses with 500 or more employees, or franchisors whose franchisees collectively have 500 or more employees, for each hour worked by an individual making less than $15 per hour.
While the tax made it out of the Connecticut legislature’s Human Services Committee, many lawmakers gave it tepid support given that revenue collected under the bill would have gone directly to the state and not, as advocates claimed, to workers themselves.
Later, the bill caused considerable frustration in the Labor Committee over the requirement concerning franchisees–which supporters had promised to remove.
The committee’s lukewarm support seemed to indicate the bill would likely die this session.
However, an amendment was filed in the Senate that would strike the underlying bill and impose the minimum wage increase to $10.70 in 2018, $11.30 in 2019, and $12.00 in 2020.
It was met with what was promised to be a lengthy filibuster by Senate Republicans, and ultimately withdrawn after Connecticut State House lawmakers signaled they were caught off guard by the proposal.
Studies have shown Connecticut is already a high cost place to do business, and that increases in the minimum wage have done little to combat poverty in the state.
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