Connecticut set the stage as the first state to raise the minimum wage because lawmakers responded to what people wanted, said the state's Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy.
"We are the first state in 50 states to do what the people want us to do, and that's to raise the minimum wage to $10.10," Malloy told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday.
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The measure passed Thursday without a single Republican vote and without all Democrats on board. The plan will raise the minimum wage in three steps to $10.10 per hour by Jan. 1, 2017. Malloy said the increase would help lift full-time workers out of poverty.
"This is going to take a whole bunch of people who are working 40 hours a week and living in poverty, out of poverty. That's the goal in Connecticut, to get people working at a job that allows them to support their families," he said.
Nationally, the minimum wage debate showed a "great divide in our country," Malloy said. He said Americans understand the issue and suggested it would pass if it came before a vote in Congress.
"The American people understand that nobody, nobody should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty," Malloy said.
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