Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law Thursday a bill that will raise Connecticut's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017, the highest for any state in the country.
"It's time to get people out of poverty," Malloy said just after he signed the bill at Cafe Beauregard in New Britain, which he visited earlier this month President Barack Obama earlier this month when the president was touting a $10.10 national minimum wage.
He said it was one of his "proudest days as governor."
Both houses of the State General Assembly approved the bill Wednesday. The Democratic governor signed it Thursday at a New Britain restaurant where he, President Barack Obama and three other New England governors ate earlier this month, before Obama urged Congress to increase the federal minimum wage during a speech at Central Connecticut State University.
"What we want to make sure is that men and women in our state that work 40 hours a week do not live in poverty and have the opportunity to raise their families as we, ourselves would want to raise our own," Malloy said.
The bill will increase the minimum hourly wage to $9.15 in January, $9.60 in January 2016 and $10.10 in January 2017. State officials say 70,000 to 90,000 people now earn the minimum wage in Connecticut.
Republicans criticized the increase as another action that makes Connecticut uncompetitive.