Silver: Let’s Go With Obama’s Minimum Wage Plan
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced today he is backing a state-level increase to the minimum wage that would increase it to $9 and tie future hikes to the rate of inflation, 25 cents more than Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan inserted in his budget that does not include indexing.
In a statement, the powerful Assembly speaker said New York’s proposal should match what President Obama backed in his State of the Union address this week.
“The Assembly Majority introduced the bill to increase the minimum wage more than a year ago. Since that time, the people of New York have shown overwhelming support to help hard working families forced to live in poverty,” said Silver. “This week, the issue claimed the national stage as a critical component of the President’s agenda. I am heartened by his rousing endorsement to raise the wage and tie it to the cost of living. However, New York cannot wait while Washington weighs the pros and cons of a federal shift in the minimum wage. We must act now.”
Silver’s plan would make the $9 minimum take effect in January 2014, with indexing in place a year later. Silver said in a statement that the wage hike was being included in an amendment to the existing proposal with, so far, no Senate same-as.
The new minimum wage proposal in the Assembly is backed by Labor Committee Chairman Carl Heastie and Assemblyman Keith Wright, the state Democratic Party co-chairman (his other party co-chair, Syracuse’s Stephanie Miner, broke with Cuomo on his pension smoothing plan that is also in the budget).
“I have never been more proud of my House. The amendment to this bill is consistent with what our President and his bold leadership projected. It is my sincerest hope that the Senate will prove themselves to be more concerned about the people in the State of the New York than their federal counterparts have been,” said Wright, sponsor of the bill with Silver.
Cuomo told reporters yesterday in Queens that he would continue his push for the $8.75 minimum wage, but he hoped Congress acted quickly on Obama’s $9 wage plan with indexing.
The governor said it was best to do the wage hike on the federal level in order to eliminate state-by-state competition.
New York’s minimum wage is $7.25, which is the current federal rate.
The federal minimum wage supersedes a state’s minimum wage if it is lower.
Cuomo’s minimum wage hike plan was inserted in his $142.6 billion budget proposal, but he has said he’s willing to negotiate the measure with state lawmakers. Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos, who is a governing coalition with five breakaway Democrats, called a wage hike a “job killer” last year, but indicated a willingness to allow the wage to be phased in or introduce a training wage.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on February 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm, and is filed under Assembly. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|