Governor Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation to increase Connecticut’s hourly minimum wage incrementally to $10.10 over the next three years. The new maximum rate will become effect January 1, 2017. 

Connecticut’s minimum wage is currently $8.70 per hour. Under the new legislation (Public Act No. 14-1), which will be codified as of July 1, 2014, the minimum wage will increase to $9.15 per hour as of January 1, 2015. A second increase, effective January 1, 2016, will bring the minimum wage to $9.60 per hour. The third and final increase will make it $10.10 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.

This is the second increase in the state’s minimum wage rate signed by Governor Malloy in the past two years. It comes on the heels of President Barack Obama’s visit to Central Connecticut State University to advocate for an increase in the federal minimum wage rate, currently $7.25 an hour. In 2013, Governor Malloy signed legislation that increased the state’s minimum wage to $8.70 an hour effective January 1, 2014. That legislation also adjusted the employer’s tip credit. (See our article, Connecticut to Increase Minimum Wage in 2014 and 2015.) 

The minimum wage rate had been scheduled to increase to $9.00 an hour effective January 1, 2015. Under the new legislation, the minimum wage rate instead will increase to $9.15 an hour on January 1, 2015.

The new legislation does not change the percentage relationship between the standard minimum wage rate and the “tip credited” minimum wage rate applicable to tipped employees, which will increase accordingly. 

Unless another state passes legislation in the interim, at $10.10 per hour, Connecticut’s minimum wage will be the highest of any state in the nation on January 1, 2017. (For a survey of recently passed minimum wage legislation around the country, see our article, State Minimum Wage Increases Effective January 1, 2014.) Washington State currently has the highest minimum wage rate at $9.32 per hour, with Oregon currently second at $9.10 per hour. Higher minimum wage rates have been imposed by some cities, including $10.74 per hour in San Francisco, California, and, as of 2016, $11.50 per hour in Washington, D.C.