Assembly makes minimum wage bill a priority - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Assembly makes minimum wage bill a priority

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ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver expected the Assembly to pass the minimum wage bill during their session on Tuesday.

The Assembly started session at 12:30 p.m. with plans to pass the bill raising the state's minimum wage discussed. The proposed bill would raise the minimum wage to $9 with indexing, which will tie future increases to inflation. This proposal is in-line with President Obama's proposal he called for in his State of the Union.

"Our proposal will directly benefit more than 925,000 New Yorkers. It will benefit families trapped between the desire for financial independence and the constant erosion of their wages. By passing this legislation, we will be rewarding hard work with a wage families can live on," said Silver.

"Opponents say that raising the minimum wage will hurt small businesses. But let me point out that the majority of low-wage workers are employed not by mom-and-pop shops but by the large chains which have posted steady profits even during recent periods of economic hardship."

The minimum wage in New York State has increased only ten cents in the last six years. It has remained stagnant at $7.25 an hour since 2009. At this rate, a full-time worker is earning just over $15,000 a year.

Governor Andrew Cuomo's budget calls for increasing the minimum wage to $8.75. However on Monday, Cuomo said the raise could be done later in the session.

Assembly Democrats are trying to keep the issue front and center.

Support in the State Senate is less clear; Senate Republicans have expressed concerns it will hurt small businesses and want an increase to be part of a deal that would include tax breaks for businesses.

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