ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The state budget is a step closer to being finalized. It’s projected to be approximately $229 billion dollars, which is $2 billion higher than what the governor previously proposed

“I said, I’d make our state safer, more affordable, more livable, for New Yorkers of today and tomorrow. Now that we’re reaching the end of this process, I’m confident that this is exactly what this budget delivers,” said Hochul.

On affordability, Governor Hochul said a conceptual agreement was made to increase the minimum wage next year.

“We’re raising the minimum age to $16 in New York City, Long Island, in Westchester. $15 elsewhere in the state, with $.50 increases in both ’25 and ’26, but starting in 2027, the minimum wage will increase annually according to the consumer price index in other words—if costs go up so your wages.

Vicky Rivera said she’s a mom who works a minimum wage job.

“I have to think about if I eat meat today, or if I buy some shoes for them or for me,” explained Rivera.

She doesn’t believe a $2 increase is enough to help with rising costs due to inflation. The organization, Align, wants to see minimum wage be raised to $21.25.

“We are encouraged to see that New York will be indexing it’s minimum wage moving forward, but starting at $17, essentially locks in poverty wages,” said Tal Frieden, Campaign coordinator for Align.

However, not everyone is in support of raising the minimum wage. In a letter sent to state leaders earlier this week, Grow New York Farms urged them to keep minimum wage at $15.

On Wednesday, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay weighed in.

“I think by increasing the minimum wage, it’s going to add to that cost, and ultimately it hurts workers because people are going to use automation or they’re going to lay off workers. They aren’t going to increase employment,” said Barclay. “It’s hard to live in New York and this is going to exasperate the problem.

Assembly Democrats will be conferencing on Sunday. The hope is for the budget bills to start being printed over the weekend so that voting can start early next week.