This is the second time in two years that Connecticut has voted to raise its minimum wage. Still, in a recent Quinnipiac University poll, 71 percent of Connecticut voters said they supported raising the minimum wage yet again. A Bloomberg poll found that 69 percent of Americans nationwide support raising the wage to $10.10 over the next three years.
But the measure is unlikely to pass at the federal level, due to opposition from House GOP members. Back in January, Speaker John Boehner balked at Obama’s decision to raise federal contractors’ wages to $10.10 an hour. “The question is how many people, Mr. President, will this executive action actually help?” Boehner told reporters. “I suspect the answer is close to zero.”
Some Connecticut workers probably wish their new state law would come into effect earlier than 2017. But for the majority of other states, passing a minimum wage above $10 is a lofty goal in itself. The American Legislative Exchange Council distributes a legislative agenda to conservative state lawmakers nationwide, which makes their actions a good barometer for the future of the minimum wage in red America.
Since 2011, ALEC-backed lawmakers in 25 states introduced 67 bills to reduce the minimum wage or weaken overtime protection for workers. Eleven of those bills eventually became law. So Republican state lawmakers—who control 26 statehouses in the country—are not keen on passing a minimum-wage hike.