New York employers who employ workers in jobs that pay minimum wage will have to
gradually increase their wages over the next three years.
The New York State Assembly on March 28 gave final approval to the state-budget proposal after the state Senate had approved the spending plan earlier in the week.
The state budget includes an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $9 an hour over three years, and employers of teenagers in part-time jobs will get a taxpayer-funded subsidy to cover most of the increase.
The minimum wage will gradually increase over the next three years from $7.25 to $8 per hour on Dec. 31, 2013; to $8.75 on Dec. 31, 2014; and then to $9 per hour on Dec. 31, 2015, according to the office of State Assemblyman Samuel (Sam) Roberts (D, WF-Syracuse).
But one of New York's two U.S. senators is proposing federal legislation to boost the national minimum wage even more than that.
U.S. Senator Kasten Gillibrand (D-NY) on March 19 announced a new effort to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour over the next three years, with future increases indexed to the rate of inflation.
The nearly 1.8 million New Yorkers earning the minimum wage or just above the rate, representing 20 percent of all workers statewide, is prompting the effort, Gillibrand said in a conference call with reporters.
Gillibrand is pushing for approval of the "Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013," a bill of which she is an original co-sponsor.
The senator, hailing from the greater Albany area, is citing information from the Washington, D.C.-based Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which says the bill would boost the incomes of an estimated 1.8 million New York workers and would generate an estimated $3.2 billion in wage increases for New York workers.
EPI calls itself a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank on its website.
For New Yorkers working their hardest and making the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, its getting harder and harder to make ends meet with the rising cost of gas, groceries, rent, and other basic necessities, Gillibrand contends.
"It's simply unacceptable that in New York, a single parent working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year to support a family earns just $290 a week. That's only $15,000 a year without any time off," Gillibrand said.
That annual salary for a minimum wage earning, working poor, family of three is $3,000 below the poverty level on an annual basis, making it difficult to make ends meet and increasing dependency on government assistance programs, according to Gillibrand's office.
The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would boost the minimum wage to $21,000, lifting those working poor families above the poverty line, the Democrat says.
Gillibrand contends that the higher wage would spark new consumer spending at New York businesses.
The Democrats office broke down by region the number of those who could potentially benefit from the higher wage.
The Central New York region has an average of more than 500,000 workers, more than 100,000 of which, or 20 percent, would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage.
In the Southern Tier, nearly 55,000 of the region's nearly 240,000 workers, representing about 23 percent of workers, would benefit from such an increase in
Most Popular Stories
- Updates on Everglades' Stranded Pilot Whales
- NSA Tracks 5 Billion Cellphone Records a Day
- Hezbollah Chief's Assassination Claimed by Sunni Group
- Stolen Cobalt-60 Recovered in Mexico
- Wind Power and Wildlife Can Coexist
- Ford Mustang Still Packs Power
- Allstate Seeks to Invest in Minority Firms
- Sarmiento to Handle Greeley Latin Ops
- First-time Jobless Claims Drop Below 300,000
- White House Pushes to Extend Unemployment Benefits