Fasano: “We don’t need a false economy. We need policies that attract businesses and allow jobs to grow.”

August 19, 2016

Statement in Response to Working Families Party Petition Drive

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement in response to the Connecticut Working Families Party’s petition drive calling to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and to support the “Walmart Bill” that would implement a penalty fee on companies that pay employees less than $15 an hour.

“Increasing the minimum wage is not a solution to an economy devastated by the fiscally irresponsible policies pushed through by the Democrat majority. Everyone is hurting in Connecticut’s economy. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is at best a short term response to a long term problem. At worst, raising the minimum wage will accelerate a spiral of disparity between the economic classes, a loss of jobs, and an increase in costs for low and middle income families. A false economy is not the answer. The best way to increase wages is to have a healthy and robust economy where employers will increase wages to find employees. We also need a realistic path for young people to get good paying jobs that match their skill sets.

“The ‘Walmart bill’ idea may be touted as an attempt to force a higher minimum wage, but in reality it is nothing but a money grab. How does a Connecticut resident benefit when the money is going into the state coffers? Does anyone believe that the penalty fee going to the state will make its way back to the people making minimum wage? This is another way for the state to take money from yet another source in the name of fairness. Really it is about figuring out how much more the state can tax us. Just look back at all the other promises Democrats have made to municipalities – promises to return or redistribute money that have been broken repeatedly.

“We don’t need a false economy. We need policies that attract businesses and allow jobs to grow. We need to create jobs in our cities. We need to help students who may not be able to go to college by giving them proper training so they can develop the skill sets needed to get good paying jobs with the potential to grow right out of high school. We need to get aggressive and work in partnership with local businesses to establish internships that turn into steady employment. We need to get government out of the way, reduce barriers and help our small businesses stay in Connecticut. That will build a healthy economy with jobs that pay above the minimum wage. That’s how we will build strong communities around our state. Those are our challenges, and with a new direction and leadership we can achieve that goal,” said Fasano.