President Obama coming to CT to push for minimum wage hike

President Barack Obama will travel to Connecticut on Wednesday, March 5 to push for an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Obama will join Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and three other New England governors at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain to speak in favor of upping the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.

The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, and it hasn’t increased since July 2009. Some states, like Connecticut, have higher minimum wages.

The president and Malloy will be joined at the afternoon event in New Britain by Govs. Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island, Deval L. Patrick of Massachusetts, and Peter E. Shumlin of Vermont.

‘Growing income inequality’

“There is a debate happening across our country on how to tackle the growing income inequality that is detrimental to our middle-class families and to our economy,” said Malloy, a Democrat like Obama and the three other governors who will attend the rally.

“Part of tackling that critically important challenge is making sure that we recognize that a decent wage is good for workers and good for business,” Malloy said.

Tickets available to the public

Obama is expected to arrive on Air Force One at Bradley International Airport, north of Hartford. Once at Central Connecticut, he will speak inside the William Detrick Gymnasium in Kaiser Hall.

The event is free and open to the public, with a limited number of tickets to be made available to the public starting on Tuesday, March 4 from 4–8 p.m. at Central Connecticut’s Kaiser Hall, 1615 Stanley St., New Britain.

One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are required for entry. Tickets are not for sale or re-sale.

On Wednesday, doors will open at the William Detrick Gymnasium for ticketed attendees at 11:30 a.m. People will go through airport-like security and should bring as few personal items as possible. No bags, backpacks, sharp objects, umbrellas, liquids or signs will be allowed in the venue. Cameras are permitted.

Helping households make ends meet

Malloy said the minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living.

“As studies have shown, the workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase brought home 46% of their household’s total wage and salary income in 2011,” he said.

“When workers earn more money, businesses will have more customers,” Malloy said. “This modest boost will help those earning the least to make ends meet.”

The Connecticut minimum wage now is $8.70 per hour and is scheduled to increase to $9 an hour on Jan. 1, 2015. Malloy has proposed scaled increases to get the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2017.