Push to raise New York’s minimum wage
Lawmakers in Albany are once again taking up the issue of raising the minimum wage in New York State. And this time, it might have a better chance of passing. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman explains.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Critics last year assailed it as a job killer. This year, they're hoping for compromise. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to raise the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75. And he's put it in his $142.6 billion budget proposal, a move that business groups who the governor has worked well with say doesn't surprise them.
“There's a lot of room for conversation. We can talk about phasing it in, we can talk about potentially a training wage, so there is still room to negotiate I believe,” said Heather Briccetti, State Business Council President and CEO.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver last year proposed raising the minimum wage to $8.50 and tying it the rate of inflation. Cuomo's proposal adds 25 cents, but doesn't include inflation increases, known as indexing.
“It's just simply unacceptable that we haven't done it until now. I would like to see connected to inflation, I would like to see it raised even higher to be quite frank, but some compromises may need to be made,” State Senator Terry Gipson said.
For Silver, a master of legislative deal making in Albany, he wants the wage increase to be tied to inflation in order to remove the issue from the political process.
“I would prefer that each time we did a raise it wouldn't become part of a political football and it would happen automatically we adjust it to inflation,” Silver said.
Senate Republicans, now in a governing coalition with five Democrats, haven't ruled out an increase, but also want business tax cuts to offset the hit.
“Our conference, for the most part, is against it, but our conference is also looking for tax credits to spur businesses on. So how the negotiations ultimately turn out will depend on what's available to help small business I would think,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman John DeFrancisco.
Cuomo wants the wage increase to take effect July 1st.