State Senate and Assembly have not yet agreed on raising the
state minimum wage.
calls are needed to Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (518
455-3191). Phone calls to other Senate Republicans are also
needed. (switchboard 455-2800) starting with Sen. Velella,
chair of the Senate Labor Committee.
Please support raising the state minimum wage to $6.75 and
indexing it to changes in the cost of living.
big issue is whether or not the Senate will agree to indexing
(automatically adjusting the minimum wage to inflation).
appears that the Senate is willing to increase the state minimum
wage over two years to $6.75. The Assembly had wanted 1 year,
but is willing to go to two.
Assembly had initially pegged the minimum wage to changes
in the consumer price index. They passed a second bill to
agree to the Senate proposal to peg it to changes in the average
weekly wages of employees. Now the Senate is balking at any
indexing. Their argument is that the legislature should be
the ones to decide whether or not to raise the minimum wage,
since they have a better feel of what is needed. The counterargument
is that this turns the minimum wage into a political football
every year, and since the small business people have more
power than low income workers, business usually wins. For
instance, it has been decades since the state legislature
has approved an increase higher than the federal minimum wage,
whereas other states in the northeast (e.g., Mass., Conn.)
routinely have higher minimum wages.
Senate of course wants to have the minimum wage as a bargaining
chip in the future, so they don't want it indexed.
will vote on a two-step increase in the federal minimum wage
($6.65) this fall.