On Wednesday, Unshackle Upstate was part of large and diverse coalition group that announced its plan to oppose proposals to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour in the 2016 legislative session.
The goal of the Minimum Wage Reality Check coalition will be to make sure that the public, community leaders and elected officials understand that a 67 percent minimum wage increase is simply unaffordable for most of the state’s businesses, farms and non-profits.
The coalition includes NFIB New York, the Business Council of New York State, Unshackle Upstate, regional chambers of commerce, and trade groups that represent restaurant owners, trucking companies, various chambers of commerce, convenience stores, hotels, and builders.
Last month, Gov. Cuomo launched a campaign for statewide minimum wage. He said that he will propose increasing the minimum wage in stages $15. If approved by the Legislature, it would take full effect in New York City at the end of 2018 and in the rest of the state in July 2021.
Last Thursday, we received some statistical support for our position against the $15 minimum wage when the Empire Center for Public Policy released a report which finds that raising the state’s minimum wage “will reduce employment opportunities and harm the state’s economic outlook.”
The report looked at the impact of raising the statewide minimum wage to $15. It estimates that a $15 minimum wage would cost the state at least 200,000 jobs, with proportionately larger employment losses coming in upstate regions.