Democrats in the state Legislature are hoping to accelerate New York’s scheduled minimum-wage increase, using President Barack Obama’s national push to boost their plan.
Senate Democrats on Tuesday promoted a bill meant to change the state’s minimum wage procedures, raising the rate to $9 an hour on Dec. 31 and tying future increases to the rate of inflation. Separate bills would let local governments set their own minimum wage and rescind a tax-credit for employers that hire teenage, minimum-wage workers.
The acceleration legislation, which is also backed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, would put New York on a faster track to $9. Last year, lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved an incremental increase, boosting the rate to $8 an hour this year, $8.75 next year and $9 on Dec. 31, 2015.
“We understand that our business is unfinished and we need to make sure that we accelerate the minimum wage so that it will reflect what New Yorkers want,” Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Scott Reif, a spokesman for the Senate GOP, said the caucus has “no interest in revisiting that law.”
“Senate Republicans remain focused on policies that create new, good-paying jobs and reduce the high cost of doing business in New York,” Reif said in a statement.
Here’s Stewart-Cousins discussing the bill: