Cuomo’s new wage proposal will again face another battle in the state Senate when it returns to the Capitol in 2016. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, has already backed the plan.
Surrounded by hundreds of supportive union members in a convention hall in Manhattan, Mr. Cuomo said he would carry the banner for a $15 minimum wage, which would be more than double the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Several cities, including Los Angeles and Seattle, have laid plans to raise their minimum wages to $15, but no state has gone that far.
Cuomo’s proposal mirrors a wage hike for fast-food workers in New York, which was formally approved Thursday by the state Department of Labor. State law allows the labor department to implement a wage hike for a particular industry if an appointed panel finds its workers are being harmed by low pay.
Democrat Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, who represents the 92nd District in Westchester, on Thursday tweeted: “The Gov.’s statewide $15 hourly min. wage helps downstate suburban workers where cost of living is highest in USA.”
Astorino told the Journal News,
“It was transitional employment, the first step on a ladder,” he said. “For those very few who are full-time employees at that level, what we really need is a better economy in New York because of these kinds of terrible economic decisions, which drive businesses away.
“The problem is that payroll costs are usually the single biggest item between a profit and loss for any small business,” Astorino said. “What’s going to happen — as is happening in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle right now — is that businesses are going to reduce hours and employees, some are going to close and never open again.”