Last week, one of the state’s largest and most powerful labor unions began advocating for an increase in the state’s minimum wage, and the Governor made it clear that this will be one of his highest priorities in the 2016 legislative session. We’ve been outspoken in expressing our concerns about the real world impact of such a dramatic increase in the minimum wage – on small businesses, non-profits and even local governments – and we’re going to continue to urge lawmakers to seriously consider those impacts before raising the state’s minimum wage by 67 percent.
On Tuesday, SEIU released a television ad praising Gov. Cuomo for his fast food wage board’s decision this to increase the industry’s minimum wage and supporting an increase in the state’s hourly wage to $15 per hour. You can watch their ad here.
On Thursday, Gov. Cuomo announced that thirty groups have joined Mario Cuomo Campaign for Economic Justice, a statewide initiative aimed building support for a $15 minimum wage for all workers in New York State. Among the groups joining the effort are AARP New York, the Empire state Pride Agenda, the NAACP New York State Conference and the New York Civil Liberties Union.
On Friday, Gov. Cuomo spoke at the Business Council of New York State’s annual meeting, and said that he is open to giving businesses a tax cut to provide some relief to businesses to offset the increased costs they will incur from increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The Governor’s plan to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour all across New York State shows the lack of understanding of the economic difference between the booming New York City economy and the Upstate region that is still recovering from decades of job loss. If enacted, it would force fundamental reshuffling of the entire wage scale across Upstate New York. Because it will lead to fewer jobs and higher costs throughout Upstate.