NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (WWLP) – President Obama was in Connecticut Wednesday to call for a higher federal minimum wage.
The president made remarks at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, and was joined by Governor Deval Patrick, as well as Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, and Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee for the event.
In his speech, the president said that raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would have benefits across the economy. In particular, he cited why he believes a higher minimum wage would benefit women and young people.
In making his case, the president cited the example of major businesses like Costco which pay their workers well above the minimum wage, as proof that companies can be profitable and grow while still putting more money in their workers’ pockets.
This is a big day not only for the region, but also for the students who go to Central Connecticut State University.
Some of them are on folding chairs and blankets waiting in line, and have been out since 6:00 this morning with hopes to see the president. Others waited in long lines on Tuesday just to get tickets.
Students waiting in line told 22News that it is not only an exciting opportunity to see the president and governors, but they care about the topic. One student told us a hike could help her pay for her education.
“I’m just curious to see what’s going to happen with it, because I have two part-time jobs, so that would really help me out because paying for college isn’t cheap. So if it got raised, that would help a lot,” CCSU sophomore Lauren Rieger said.
Springfield City Councilor Tom Ashe was in the audience Wednesday. He said it was important western Massachusetts was represented.
“It certainly is an issue that effects the whole country and Massachusetts in particular. It’s great to be here and support the governor, it’s an issue that we face, the living wage is very important to working people. And it’s just great to be here, and what a great environment!” Ashe said.
Massachusetts lawmakers are also considering an increase. The Senate has already approved the measure, and it’s heading to the November ballot.
Following his trip to Connecticut, the president is traveling to the Boston area for a Democratic National Committee event and a fundraiser.