Last week, there were rumblings in Albany that the Governor‘s Office has floated the possibility of bringing the Legislature back to Albany before the end of the year to enact a minimum wage increase in exchange for a business tax cut. To this idea, we say “no.”

The Senate Republicans have expressed concern about another minimum wage increase, but they have not rejected it.  This is cause for concern.

Unshackle Upstate will raise our voice against any effort to push a massive minimum wage increase through the State Legislature in an end-of-year special session. There should be a thorough discussion of what the Governor has proposed – especially billions of dollars in new costs it will impose on businesses, non-profits and local governments. (More on those costs below.)

The bottom line is that some parts of Upstate New York are finally beginning to see signs of economic progress for the first time in a long time. A massive new wage mandate minimum wage increase will undermine that progress.

Any proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage should be considered through the regular legislative process, not as part of some cynical Albany backroom deal.  Before lawmakers take any action to increase the state’s minimum wage, every stakeholder who would be impacted by it should have an opportunity to be heard.

The New York Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) agrees, calling the idea “appalling.” And so does the Business Council of New York, which notes that “a $15 minimum wage would impose $15.7 billion in increased payroll costs on private sector employers.”