Set the Minimum Wage at $15 per hour
At the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ (CT-UCC), a resolution was adopted which called for a minimum wage of $15 per hour beginning in 2019. The resolution was sponsored by Faith Congregational Church UCC, Asylum Hill Congregational Church UCC, Center Church, UCC and Immanuel Congregational Church UCC, all of Hartford. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, and the CT minimum wage will be $10.10 per hour starting January 11, 2017. While CT has been a leader in setting its minimum wage above the federal standard, more needs to be done. CT United Way has participated in ALICE [Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed], a study of how much it costs to live in Connecticut, what those expenses are, how much people earn, and poverty levels. The study can be found here. What it tells us is that in 2014, the hourly wage for a Household Survival Budget for a single person was $11.33 and for a family of 4 with 2 small children $35.39. Given a 2% inflation rate those figures are about $11.56 and $36.10.
The cost of living here, however, is far more expensive than the ALICE individuals and families can afford. We CAN do something about this. At it says in Proverbs 14:31,” You insult your Maker when you exploit the powerless; when you’re kind to the poor, you honor God.”
We did a petition drive. The petition said:
We the undersigned members and friends of the following churches: Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC; Immanuel Congregational Church, UCC; Center Church UCC; and Faith Congregational Church UCC hereby petition you to support setting the minimum wage for Connecticut at $15 per hour beginning in 2019.”
The petitions were presented to Governor Malloy, Lt. Governor Wyman, 12 Hartford area legislators and 6 legislative leaders on December 21, 2016. There were 425 signatures, with 178 presented through the efforts of Faith Church. The petitions were delivered by the Rev. Stephen Camp of Faith Congregational Church, the Rev. Bill Warner-Prouty of Center Church, and Jim Boucher and David Biklin of Immanuel Congregational Church. Thanks to all who helped make this happen.