Advocates out to increase minimum wage, emergency food supply
ALBANY, N.Y. - Advocates for the working poor and under-nourished are urging New York's government leaders to raise the minimum wage during a possible special session of the Legislature that could include a salary boost for lawmakers and top government administrators.
The groups used their annual Thanksgiving appeal for aid for hungry New Yorkers to push for the wage initiative during a march and rally held in downtown Albany Monday.
They're also seeking better funding of food pantries for victims of Superstorm Sandy, calling for increasing emergency food funding specifically for food pantries and kitchens. Given the tough economy, they say more needs to be done to help struggling families put food on the table.
The group includes the Hunger Action Network of New York State, FOCUS Churches of Albany and Capital District Area Labor Federation.
The second issue at hand was increasing minimum wage. They say at $7.25 per hour, New York's minimum wage is out of date, especially with more New Yorkers relying on low-pay jobs.
While noting the Republican-controlled State Senate balked at raising the minimum wage to $8.50, they say lawmakers are considering boosting their own $79,500 annual pay for part-time work.
The minimum wage increase has already passed in the Assembly.
The Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo haven't yet scheduled a special session, but Cuomo and several lawmakers have said they expected one to be held after the elections.
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