HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Three Democratic governors are talking up a higher minimum wage just days before appearing with President Barack Obama in a Connecticut visit focusing on state and federal efforts on the issue.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee and Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin spoke to reporters on a White House conference call on Sunday. Each chief executive said a higher minimum wage is critical to boosting workers' purchasing power and strengthening the economy.

Shumlin said the governors and Obama are working to pull the country out of the deep recession.

Chafee recalled protests by Occupy activists, saying they were persistent and tenacious.

Malloy said increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, which he and Obama are seeking nationally and in Connecticut, will lift the middle class.


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