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PSN on March 31, 2014 - 12:17pm
With the momentum to raise the minimum wage building across the country, Connecticut made waves last week by becoming the first state with a $10.10 per hour minimum wage. Currently standing at $8.70 per hour, it will be raised to $10.10 per hour -- the highest state minimum wage in the country -- over the next three years.
In a nod to this achievement, State Senator Gary Holder-Winfield, chairman of the Connecticut legislature's Labor Committee, noted that "We are proud to lead the nation in moving the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour." Supported by leading economists, including Nobel laureates, and some of America's most successful investors and business leaders, a federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour would put more money in the pockets of approximately 30 million workers and lift at least a million people, if not more, out of poverty.
For Sen. Holder-Winfield, the significance of the moment goes beyond a "first in the nation" honor for the state he calls home. Long a champion of economic security issues important to working families, he is a legislator who understands the real life implications for people -- like the high cost of low wages on a family's ability to put food on the dinner table.
Last week, in conjunction with the Connecticut legislature's final minimum wage vote and leading up to PSN's National Week of Action for Real Prosperity Across America, Sen. Holder-Winfield began the Grocery Challenge. It's designed to put the challenge-taker in the shoes of his constituents who, despite holding down a job, are scraping by barely able to afford food for the dinner table because they're paid too low for this day and age.
Source: New Haven Independent
Living on a food budget of only $28 for the week, Sen. Holder-Winfield remarked that “the point is to demonstrate how difficult it is." And it is. Listen to his first-hand accounts in these videos:
Everyone who works hard in a full-time job should be able to live in dignity rather than having to struggle so much to make ends meet. Bringing up the floor of wages as Connecticut did takes an important step towards this vision.
A decent minimum wage also does more than just make working families better off, thereby boosting the economy for everyone's benefit as they spend their paycheck on necessities like rent, groceries, and gas. If corporations were required to pay at least $10.10 per hour, their workers wouldn't need to use SNAP as much -- saving us $46 billion over ten years. That's what we like to call a win-win solution.