And even though some Democrats defected (one in the Senate, four in the House), Malloy was successful this week in raising Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017 – making his state the first in the nation to do so.
Malloy called the debate over the minimum wage “a great divide in our country.”
“Seventy-eight percent of women in state of Connecticut supported raising the minimum wage because they understand, more than perhaps men do, the reliance on minimum-pay jobs to support their families or their friends’ families,” he told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Malloy, who may have his eye on higher office, said he’s been following the minimum wage debate in Washington, and he said that a federal wage bill “probably” would pass Congress – with some Republican support -- if it came up for a vote.
“The American people understand that nobody – nobody! – should work 40 hours a week and live in poverty,” he said. “The reality is that Democrats embrace this issue because they understand the importance to working men and women.”
Gov. Malloy recently appeared with President Obama and several other New England governors to tout a higher minimum wage, and he said he’ll sign the bill at the same Connecticut restaurant where Obama dined earlier this month.
"I am proud that Connecticut is once again a leader on an issue of national importance," Malloy said earlier this week. "Increasing the minimum wage is not just good for workers, it's also good for business."
Connecticut’s $10.10 wage is the highest imposed by a state, but as the Associated Press reported, there are higher minimum wages imposed by cities, including $10.74 in San Francisco. Washington, D.C., will raise its minimum wage to $11.50 by 2016. California's minimum wage will increase to $10 by 2016.
"I hope Members of Congress, governors, state legislators and business leaders across our country will follow Connecticut's lead to help ensure that no American who works full time has to raise a family in poverty, and that every American who works hard has the chance to get ahead," Obama said in a statement after Wednesday's vote.
(The Associated Press contributed some of the information used in this report.)