Legislators Have Mixed Reaction on Minimum Wage Increase
3/6/2013 (Updated 3/7/2013 8:47:04 AM)In Albany on Tuesday the democratic majority of the state assembly voted 101 to 44 to increase the minimum wage.
Ali Warner has that report:
2014 could mean a $1.75 increase for those making minimum wage.
The assembly passed a bill on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour.
"Well, if somebody works full time at minimum wage, that's only $15,000 a year and it's very very tough to fill up your gas tank or try to buy groceries so it's a matter of human dignity," said State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo (D).
However republicans say the increase could be bad for New York businesses.
"There are other states that have a higher minimum wage but we have the highest workman's comp cost, we have high unemployment cost. All of those things that are costly to our businesses," said State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch (R).
Mike Durant of the National Federation of Independent Businesses says he manages over 10,000 small businesses and this wage hike could make an impact.
"But you have to understand the economic reality of this state, we rank dead last in cost of doing business and we have the worst or one of the worst, state and local tax burden and there's no end in sight," said Durant.
Durant says if minimum wage is increased it would be crucial for the state to reduce several costs like health insurance and workers comp.
"If you looked at the regulations that by and large many instances go above what the federal standards are you're going to provide more flexibility to small businesses and business in general, to be able to pay the best compensation they can afford to do," said Durant.
"Increasing the minimum wage is going to benefit society in general but what can we do in New York State to start benefiting small businesses instead of large corporations," said Lawrence Parham of Citizen Action.
Governor Cuomo proposed increasing the minimum wage to $8.75 in his State of the State address in January. Minimum wage hasn't been increased since 2009.
Ali Warner Fox 40 HD News.
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