Connecticut lawmakers on Wednesday approved a bill that will raise the state's minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a move that will boost the wages of about 90,000 workers in the state.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill into law Thursday evening, according to a statement from his office.
The bill's passage is a legislative victory for advocates who have been pushing to raise the minimum wage, arguing that many states' and the federal minimum wage law haven't kept up with rising living costs.
Implementation of the new wage level will be gradual, rising to $9.60 by January 2016 and then to $10.10 a year later.
The bill passed Connecticut's General Assembly largely along party lines. The vote was 21 to 14 in the state Senate and 87 to 54 in the House. Democrats have a majority in both chambers.
"Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it's also good for business," Malloy said in a statement. "This modest increase will give working families a boost, and it will contribute to our economy by getting just a little more money into the pockets of people who will spend it in their communities."
Once the bill becomes law, Connecticut will be the first state to raise its hourly minimum wage to $10.10 -- the same level President Obama is advocating for the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25. The president has already signed an executive order that would raise the minimum wage for employees of federal government contractors.
California lawmakers last summer approved an increase to the state's minimum wage. By January 2016, it will be raised from the current $8 an hour to $10 an hour.
Opponents of efforts to raise the minimum wage include some business groups who say raising hourly wages would be a burden on small business and would cost jobs.
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