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Bill To Increase Minimum Wage Passes New York Assembly

The New York State Assembly passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $9. The vote now moves to the Senate.
The New York State Assembly passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $9. The vote now moves to the Senate. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Flickr user matt.h.wade

ALBANY, N.Y. – The New York State Assembly passed legislation on Tuesday that, if approved by the State Senate, would increase minimum wage to $9 an hour, with automatic increases tied to inflation.

According to the Wall Street Journal , the Assembly passed the bill 101-44, led by a Democratic majority. Minimum wage has increased 10 cents per hour in the last six years, going from $7.15 to $7.25 an hour in 2009.

Assembly member Amy Paulin (D-88) said that it is now up to the Senate to pass the bill for workers in the state.

“We in the Assembly believe our counterparts in the Senate will realize the benefits of raising the minimum wage far outweigh the negatives,” she said. “You can see how other states have been positively impacted by the increase and how it helped economic growth.”

Under the legislation, minimum wage will increase in January 2014. The minimum wage will begin to be adjusted for inflation beginning in 2015, based on the Consumer Price Index. Food service workers receiving tips will see their wages increased to $6.21.

Recently-elected Assembly member David Buchwald (D-93) said that the legislation could be a boon for families in the county.

“The ability to put more money in the pockets of lower-income families has significant effects for our community in Westchester,” he said. “Whether it’s a parent who can worry less about making next month’s rent, or a family that has just a little more purchasing power to provide a boost to our local economy.”

There are 19 states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, that have higher minimum wages than New York. In addition, 10 more states have already passed legislation that tie minimum wage to inflation.

“Increasing the minimum wage is not only an important measure for our state, but for every state around the country,” Paulin said. “Many people who have full-time jobs at the current minimum wage don’t make nearly enough money to support themselves, let alone a family."

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