Often, when legislators are asked about two proposals aiming to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour in certain businesses, they’re baffled and ask, "Didn't we just raise the minimum wage last year?"

Exactly.

Both HB 6791 and SB 1044 would impose a punitive tax on businesses for each employee paid less than $15 per hour in wages. Failure to pay that wage would result in a tax on the business of $1 per hour for each hour worked by an employee making less than $15 per hour.

  • HB 6791 affects businesses with 250 or more employees, or the small, locally owned franchisees that are part of a larger franchisor organization whose Connecticut franchisees' collectively have 250 employees
  • SB 1044 impacts businesses with 500 or more employees, as well as franchisees with a collective 500 or more employees

Advocates for the bills have the mistaken notion that anyone making less than $15 per hour is also a recipient of expensive state services--and therefore employers should be punished because taxpayers, they say, are subsidizing the workers.

But that broad generalization fails to account for teens working after school, retirees working for a few extra dollars, people starting out in the workforce, and people simply looking to supplement their income.

The reality is, these people would be more likely to be recipients of state services if they weren’t working at all.

Diversion

Under HB 6791, revenue generated (nearly half a billion dollars in the first two years alone) would go into the state's General Fund.

With SB 1044, money supposedly would be diverted to help fund two state service programs.

The major beneficiary of HB 6791 and SB 1044, therefore, will be the state's General Fund.

And that’s what makes these two bills so desirable to some lawmakers—as they face significant state budget shortfalls.

Lawmakers should #fleefrom15--proposals that really won’t accomplish what their proponents believe they will, and promote proposals that will help Connecticut’s job creators provide more opportunities for more people.

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