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Obama To Push For Minimum Wage Hike At Central Connecticut

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- President Barack Obama will speak at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday in his fight to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Saturday.

Malloy and Obama will be joined at the event on the New Britain campus by Gov. Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island and Gov. Peter E. Shumlin of Vermont.

“There is a debate happening across our country on how to tackle the growing income inequality that is detrimental to our middle-class families and to our economy. Part of tackling that critically important challenge is making sure that we recognize that a decent wage is good for workers and good for business,” said Malloy in a statement.

“For too long, the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living,” he said. “As studies have shown, the workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase brought home 46 percent of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011. When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers. This modest boost will help those earning the least to make ends meet.”

More details about the event will be released later in the week, his office said.

In February, Malloy met with Obama and other Democratic governors at the White House to discuss plans to increase the minimum wage. (Read about that visit here at the Daily Voice.) He championed a plan in his State of the State address to hike the minimum wage in Connecticut to $10.10 per hour by 2017, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced Tuesday. (Read about his plan here in the Daily Voice.)

The minimum wage in Connecticut was increased to $8.70 per hour on Jan. 1, 2014. A second increase to $9 per hour is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2015. Malloy is now looking to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017, mirroring recent national efforts by Obama and Congressional leaders to raise the federal minimum wage to that same amount.

“I am happy to welcome President Obama and my New England colleagues to Connecticut for the next phase of this incredibly important debate,” Malloy said. “Working together, we can and will make sure that people who work 40 hours a week don’t live in poverty.”

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