Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver doesn’t appear to be backing down in his efforts to boost the state’s minimum wage.
Later this month Mr. Silver–along with Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright, chair of the Labor Committee–will hold a series of hearings around the state.
“These hearings are an important next step in the process to raise the minimum wage,” said Mr. Silver. “It is important for our communities to speak up. Raising the minimum wage fairly rewards low-wage workers, helping those who are striving to help themselves and in the process, giving a boost to local economies.”
The Assembly bill would raise the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour and index the rate to inflation. In an interview earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo sounded torn on the economics of a minimum wage increase, while praising his relationship with Mr. Silver.
The rest of the release, including hearing dates and times, is below:
“Corporate profits of low-wage employers are soaring in this economy. At the same time, the wages of hard working families are eroding. We must break this hopeless cycle,” said Wright. “Low-wage workers will support their families by spending this extra money at businesses in their own neighborhoods. There is no doubt. Raising the minimum wage will spur economic growth and create jobs.”
The legislation calls for the minimum wage to increase to $8.50 in January of 2013. The minimum wage will be indexed, requiring an increase each year to adjust for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Indexing will begin January of 2014. The legislation will also set wages for food service workers who receive tips at $5.86. This wage will also be indexed annually to adjust for inflation.
The minimum wage in New York has increased only ten cents in the last six years. It was raised with the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in 2009. Prior to that, the minimum wage was $7.15, which was set in 2007.
The District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and 15 other states have higher minimum wage rates than New York State. Ten other states have passed legislation indexing the minimum wage to ensure the minimum wage will not erode each year as the cost of living rises