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(NECN) – President Barack Obama pushed for higher wages in remarks at Central Connecticut State University on Wednesday.
The president amplified his call for Congress to raise federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour, and suggested that they follow the lead of New England states that have raised wages above the federal rate.
“It is time to give America a raise. Now is the time,” said the president, adding that no one who works should have to raise a family in poverty.
The president went to say that the Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy, was one of six governors to pass a wage hike since his call to Congress a year ago. The state’s minimum wage will be raised to $9 next January.
In addition to Malloy, Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, and Peter Shumlin of Vermont were present. President Obama thanked them for "making sure that work pays."
President Obama made the case as to why the hike would bring positive change by using examples.
"Profitable companies like Costco have long seen higher wages as good business. It's a smart way to boost productivity," the president exemplified.
He said that for the change to happen, however, Congress needs “to get on board.”
“It would lift wages for one million New Englanders,” President Obama said. “It’s just common sense.”
The president went on to encourage the public to ask their local officials if they support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.