“Connecticut just got a raise,” state Senator Julie Kushner told the crowd assembled this morning to watch Governor Ned Lamont sign into law a bill that will increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Kushner, a retired union organizer, said that she has bargained contracts for five workers and 5,000 workers; however, “Never before did I have the experience of earning a raise for 332,000 people.”
At the Parkville Care Center in Hartford this morning, advocates, workers, business leaders, lawmakers, and labor leaders (including CEA President Jeff Leake at far left) gathered for the signing of minimum wage legislation.
Rep. Robyn Porter who, along with Kushner, spearheaded this year’s effort to pass the measure, said the struggle to pass this bill was a personal one for her.
“I have been that single mom working three jobs to take care of my kids,” she said. Referencing her defense of the bill during a marathon 14-hour debate on the floor of the House, Porter said, “I was going to stand for as long as it took, because I understood the difference this will make in people’s lives.” Read more
Many labor unions are advocating improved conditions for working families this legislative session, and the CEA Board of Directors formally joined them recently by passing resolutions in support of raising the minimum wage and ensuring paid family leave.
“When children don’t have a safe home, enough to eat, or regular medical care they’re not able to focus on academics when they come to school,” says CEA President Jeff Leake. “When parents have to work two or three jobs to pay the rent they don’t have time to read to their children, to help with homework, or to attend school events. Ensuring a living wage would help Connecticut families provide a brighter future for their children.”
Studies have also found that when families’ financial situation improves their children experience improved emotional and behavioral health. Read more