HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A bill pushed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to increase Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2017 has cleared a key legislative hurdle.

The Democratic-controlled Appropriations Committee on Monday approved the bill 24-to-17, with the legislature’s minority Republicans in opposition.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where a vote is tentatively planned Wednesday. It’s possible the House could take up the bill if the Senate approves it.

Connecticut would be the first state to enact a $10.10 minimum wage if the bill passes.

As WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported, opponents said the measure will reduce the pool of available jobs. But President Barack Obama in an appearance in Connecticut earlier this month said the effect of a higher minimum wage would be exactly opposite.

“They spend a little more money, which means that suddenly businesses have more customers, which means they make more profits,” the president said. “Which means they can hire more workers, which means you get a virtuous cycle.”

Under current law, the state’s minimum wage is scheduled to climb by 30 cents to $9 on Jan. 1, 2015. Under the bill, it would instead increase to $9.15 an hour. It would go up to $9.60 on Jan. 1, 2016 and to $10.10 on Jan. 1, 2017.

Republicans are not expected to try to delay efforts, noting Democrats control the legislature.

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