Governor Cuomo took a step in the right direction announcing a plan to the raise minimum wage for fast-food workers, who comprise much of the minimum-wage workforce. As he says, fast-food workers 'deserve a raise.' So do all minimum wage-earners in New York State.
On Monday, the Assembly once again passed legislation to raise the minimum wage. This legislation would provide for an increase to $10.50 per hour and it would create a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties. It would increase the tipped wage to $8.75 and $10.40 for New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties by December 31, 2016. The bill would also provide incremental increases in the minimum wage statewide over a three year period, making it $15 per hour in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties by 2018. Beginning in 2019 the wages would be indexed to inflation.
The Assembly has long led the fight to raise the minimum wage and ensure that all New Yorkers earn a living wage. In fact, the New York State Assembly is the first and only state house to pass legislation to increase the wage to $15.
It is now time for the Senate to act to implement a meaningful minimum wage. New Yorkers who work 40 hours per week should not be struggling to feed themselves or their families. Being able to afford the most basic necessities - a roof over your head and food on the table - shouldn't require a second job. The Assembly has always fought for minimum wage increases and a more level playing field. We have not stood idly by while so many struggle and we will continue fighting for a fair shot for each and every New Yorker.