HARTFORD – State Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) testified in support of two bills that will substantially improve the quality of life for people earning minimum wage in Connecticut.
Sen. Moore read her testimony Thursday afternoon during a public hearing of the Labor and Public Employees Committee in support of Senate Bill 13, which aims to provide more economic security to Connecticut families by increasing the minimum fair wage, and House Bill 6208, which looks to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over a five-year period.
Sen. Moore, who chairs the Human Services Committee, highlighted in her remarks the struggles of caregivers in the state who are only earning the current $10.10 minimum pay.
“I have heard testimonies from hundreds of men and women who are the caregivers for our parents, our children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled. Men and women who we depend upon every single day so we can leave our loved ones in a safe place while we go to our jobs,” Sen. Moore said. “From the daycare worker at our centers to the health care worker taking care of our moms and dads, I’ve heard their cry for respect; pay me for the work I do and pay me a wage that allows me to take care of my family and not be dependent upon state subsidies to meet my families’ needs.”
An hour before the public hearing began, standing alongside low-wage workers and family medical leave advocates, Senator Moore and her colleagues in the Democratic Senate declared that the time has come for Connecticut to pass a gradual increase to minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“The happiest day of my life, while being here, was when we rallied around the capitol and all the people came together to fight for fifteen,” Sen. Moore said. “And it was people of all ages and all colors, coming from so many different jobs, and as the chair of Human Services, and now that I’m chairing the Children’s Committee, I really do see the impact that low wage has on families and I think it’s unfair and unjust and I think all people want is equity.”
Senator Moore’s full public testimony on Senate Bill 13 An Act Concerning the Minimum Wage and House Bill 6208 An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage:
Senator Gomes, Senator Minor, Representative Porter, and members of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. Thank you for this opportunity to speak to this committee in support of SB13 An Act Concerning the Minimum Wage and HB6208 An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage.
My name is Marilyn Moore and I am the State Senator representing the 22nd district that includes Bridgeport, Monroe and Trumbull. This is my second term in the legislature, but my first employment in the Legislature was as a legislative aide for Senator Gomes who was the Chair of Labor chair at that time also.
As his aide, I had the opportunity to meet laborers throughout the state and learn about their lives. For the most part there was a common thread that wove them together; they were dedicated workers who wanted to work, wanted to support their families, and were willing to stand together for fair wages, fair working conditions, and support each other in their quest for decent quality of life. They inspired me to champion the fight for $15 in my first year as a legislator and Chair of Human Services.
As Chair of Human Services, where I continue to serve today, I have heard testimonies from hundreds of men and women who are the caregivers for our parents, our children, the elderly, the sick, and the disabled. Men and women who we depend upon every single day so we can leave our loved ones in a safe place while we go to our jobs. From the daycare worker at our centers to the health care worker taking care of our moms and dads, I’ve heard their cry for respect; pay me for the work I do and pay me a wage that allows me to take care of my family and not be dependent upon state subsidies to meet my families’ needs.
The cost of living in Connecticut is higher than the national average and rent accounts for 43% of the paycheck. In 2016, I stood on the floor of the Senate to fight for a $15 minimum wage and faced a five- hour filibuster. One of the most alarming statements was that “everybody is better off as a result of having a competitive situation” and there is a danger of job losses if wages are raised. The real danger lies with the 227,000 people who saw an increase in their pay on January 1 to the new minimum wage of $10.10 that they will be able to sustain their families in the future. It’s time for the State of Connecticut taxpayer to end the practice of subsidizing childcare, food, and health care to people who work for companies who earn high profits and pay low wages. I believe the time has come for Connecticut to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2022. I ask that you support SB13.
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