US labor chief in Connecticut to push minimum wage rise

Hartford (AP) — U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and Connecticut's two senators are pitching for an increase in the minimum wage.

Perez and Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are scheduled to meet on Monday with minimum wage workers at a Hartford Public Library forum.

President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats including Gov. Dannel P. Malloy are seeking an increase from $7.25 an hour now to $10.10 in stages.

A Congressional Budget Office report says a gradual increase would raise pay for more than 16.5 million people. The report says raising the minimum wage also would lift 900,000 people over the federal poverty threshold.

Republicans who say raising the minimum wage is a job killer pointed to another finding that raising the wage would reduce jobs in 2016 by about 500,000, or 0.3 percent.

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