Business owners worried about parts of Lamont agenda

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Governor Lamont pitched his vision for the state to members of the 2,000 strong Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce on Friday. Some say they’re not happy about highway tolls and are worried about marijuana. But many also say they are very worried about the push for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

Mike Anthony runs a temporary employee staffing agency. Many of his clients pay $11 to $12 per hour. He said $15 coupled with the Paid Family and Medical Leave rules will be a business killer. Anthony added, “I think you’re basically giving these companies a blueprint to say, ‘now this is how we’re going to exit the
state because we’re not going to be able to afford it.”

Mike was not the only one concerned about this. The government relations director for the chamber said, “We’re concerned about how it’s going to impact our businesses and ultimately the costs.”

Related: Bank of America raising hourly minimum wage to $20

Business owner Ray Oneglia of ‘O & G Industries, Inc.’ said, “My big concern, as I’m reading about it, is that it’s going to affect places like the restaurant industry and some of the smaller businesses.” 

Lance Leiferet of ‘Conquest Solutions’ said, “The $15 an hour minimum wage won’t affect
my company directly, my clients will be affected by it.”

But the Governor, who appeared to be unphased by these concerns, said,  “We phase it in on a thoughtful basis, say over four years, this is what I’ve done, that’s in my bill, that’s what we’re going to pass.”

Democrats in the Assembly want to phase it in the $15 faster, over three years. Back at the State Capitol, some state lawmakers tell News 8 the issue they’re hearing about the most is not tolls or
marijuana.  It’s the $15 an hour minimum wage and Paid Family and Medical Leave.

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