2019-05-17 16:18:45

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – After seven hours of deliberating, state senators voted to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.

Channel 3 spoke to a local business about what this means for them.

Oak H ill in Hartford has empowered people with disabilities for more than a century.

“It’s great when parents can put their heads down at night and sleep because they know that their loved ones are well cared for,” said Barry Simon.

President and CEO Barry Simon supports the decision to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour by 2023.

Right now, some employees max out at $14.75

But there’s a concern.

“Being the largest purchase of service contractor with the state for people with disabilities, it’s really important that our contracts also reflect our ability to pay. So, as this goes forward, our hope is that these same legislators that have gotten behind and supported this are also supportive of our rates in order to pay,” Simon said.

The state Senate passed the bill overnight.

In October, the current wage will climb to 11 dollars, rising one dollar a year, until 2023.

Republicans fear it will shrink the state’s economy.

“Cut taxes, cut spending, that’s how you’re going to help people. Raising the minimum wage is just going to continue to raise the cost of living in Connecticut, and it’s a never-ending game,” said Senator Len Fasano.

Democrats believe this bill will benefit 300,000 workers trying to make ends meet.

“People are working 50 hours a week, sometimes more, piecing together two or three minimum wage jobs in order to put together a living,” said Senator Martin Looney.

That’s why at Oak Hill, they want to keep the very best, for another 125 years.

As long as the state ensures they have the means to afford it.

“We have an amazing workforce. They’re wonderful at what they do. So, as this continues to move forward through the legislative process, we’re really hopeful that they don’t forget us,” Simon said.

The bill passed by a vote of 21-14.

It now goes before Governor Lamont who is expected to sign it into law next week.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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