On Wednesday, Connecticut lawmakers passed legislation that will increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.10, making it the first state to adopt the rate endorsed by President Obama. (In January, he bypassed Congress to raise federal contract workers’ salaries to $10.10, though that only applies to new hires and current employees who re-negotiate their contracts.) “I hope members of Congress, governors, state legislators and business leaders across our country will follow Connecticut’s lead to help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the chance to get ahead,” Obama said in a statement.
The change in Connecticut will happen incrementally: Hourly workers’ first raise, to $9.15, will happen on January 1, 2015. It will go up to $9.60 in 2016, and finally reach $10.10 in 2017. Meanwhile, the federal minimum wage is still $7.25, which, as many have pointed out, is not enough to live on in the United States.