HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new bill is moving through the General Assembly that would affect nearly 70,000 tipped workers in the state.

The bill would eliminate the subminimum wage for tipped workers that was set at $6.38 in 2017.

“We shouldn’t be in the businesses in Connecticut of suppressing wages for workers,” Ed Hawthorne, the president of Connecticut AFL-CIO said during a press conference in Hartford on Thursday. “Its remnants of our civil war and reconstruction past, and it’s time to pay everyone one fair wage — time to pay everyone the minimum wage.”

In show of support, lawmakers from across the state gathered at a restaurant Friday morning in West Hartford to work as wait staff during the breakfast rush. The group of politicians took orders and brought out the food.

“With inflation and basically the state of the world, that we’re really coming back stronger and that those who are in the industry are well protected and well paid,” Rep. Cory Paris (D-District 145) said.

Saru Jayaraman, the president and co-founder of the national organization, One Fair Wage said making this change in Connecticut would improve the experience for waitstaff on the job.

“The restaurant industry already has the highest rates of sexual harassment than any other industry in the United States, because it’s mostly women having to put up with whatever the customer does, however they touch you or treat you or talk to you because the customer’s always right,” she said. “The customer pays your bills, not your boss.”

The bill is facing opposition from the Connecticut Restaurant Association. CRA President Scott Dolch said that by law, if a server makes less than minimum wage between their wage and tips, the restaurant is required to pay the difference.

“Every server and bartender that comes in the state of Connecticut and works for an hour shift they are guaranteed the full minimum wage $14, if not $15 soon to be on June 1,” Dolch said.

Dolch said this legislation would negatively impact the restaurants that are adhering to laws and already treating staff well.

“The vast majority of our restaurant owner-operators are phenomenal, they take care of their staff they know need them more than ever,” Dolch said. “We’re still 20,000 jobs short of where we were pre-pandemic.”

Proposed bills regarding predictable scheduling and paid sick days for tipped workers are also on the table at the state level.