ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — New Yorkers are pushing for legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $21.25 an hour by 2027. Currently the state’s minimum wage is set at $14.20 an hour, or in certain parts of the state, $15 an hour. In her State of the State Address, Governor Hochul said she wants to index wages  to match the rising cost of inflation, but advocates say they want to see an overall increase in the state’s minimum wage and then index it to match inflation. All of this happening just weeks after lawmakers voted in favor of a $32,000 pay raise for themselves. 

“If we just index it without raising the minimum wage, we are codifying wages that are unsustainable for workers. We are codifying, starvation, wages for workers,” said Brahvan Ranga, Political Director of For the Many, an organization based in the Hudson Valley. Brahvan explained how the wage increase would work. “In upstate New York it will gradually raise it until, about $20 an hour in 2026, and then starting in 2027, it will be $21.25 across the state plus indexing it with inflation,” he said.

The process would include about a $2 increase every year. New York State Senator Andrew Gounardes said there’s simply no more buying power in the minimum wage. “It didn’t have the same buying power it did 10 years ago, 15 years ago, and it will help everyone in the economy if we pay the people enough, that money gets recycled back into our local stores or supermarkets, everywhere. And so by raising the wage, we are giving truth to the maximum that a rising tide lifts all boats,” said Gounardes. The bill is currently in Committee in both the Assembly and the Senate.