15HARTFORD: Connecticut’s minimum wage is set to increase to $10.10 on January 1st 2017. That increase didn’t phase the Connecticut Low Wage Employer Advisory Board which recently called for a $15 minimum wage in Connecticut.

When the board was first empowered by the legislature the Connecticut Business and Industry Association [CBIA] said “CBIA will monitor this board closely to ensure it does not become an echo chamber used to drive organized labor’s anti-business agenda”.

An analysis by Business New Haven of the backgrounds of the 14 member board failed to show a single business owner or potential advocate for business. Board Chair James Bhandary-Alexander is an attorney at New Haven Legal Assistance.

CBIA said that while no study was conducted by the board of the impact of the higher wages on Connecticut employment or the economy, the board at an April 2016 meeting announced that its year end report would support an increase in the minimum wage to $15 per hour.

The co-chair of the committee Jamie Mills is a deputy secretary at Connecticut’s Office of Policy and Management who said in April “consideration of raising the minimum wage should be a priority for this year.”

A bill to raise the minimum wage to $12 was tabled in April when then House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said he was unaware the Senate would be raising the measure this year.

Republican Minority Leader Len Fasano saying that the bill was dead on arrival and was presented simply to help Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Trumbull fend off a Democratic primary challenge.

Andrew Markowski, Connecticut state director for the National Federation of Independent Business, is taking the report seriously he called the $15 minimum wage “unsustainable, “

Markowski added the minimum wage was “never intended to feed entire families, nor is it something that people should strive to earn. It is an entry level wage designed to give those with little prior experience a place to start.”