Assemblywoman Clark: Assembly Approve Minimum Wage Bill

Legislation includes provision that would ensure minimum wage is adjusted for inflation annually
May 15, 2012
The Assembly announced the passage of legislation to raise New York State's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour and index it to inflation.

"As working New Yorkers' purchasing power continues to erode, the question is no longer whether a worker or a family can live on the minimum wage, it's whether they can survive on the minimum wage," said Clark. "This well-deserved increase will help hardworking men and women in Southeast Queens adequately provide for their families in the face of today's economic challenges and widening of the gap between the rich and the poor. The time for action is long overdue. We must fix the economic ladder that has enabled generations to climb into the middle class. This bill makes an important investment in our working families, ensuring that they have the chance to attain financial security and plan for their futures."

The legislation (A.9148), calls for the minimum wage to increase to $8.50 in January of 2013. The minimum wage will be indexed, requiring an increase each year to adjust for inflation according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Indexing will begin January of 2014.

According to Clark “The Assembly Majority as always is committed to improving the lives of working families across New York and the approval of this bill is an important step toward maintaining this commitment. Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation is a matter of economic fairness. The Assembly plan progressively rewards the hardworking men and women who are struggling to make ends meet by providing them with a much-needed economic boost”.

Food service workers who routinely receive gratuities would also receive proportionate increases in the sub-minimum wage, known as the tip wage. Under the legislation, the tip minimum wage for these employees would be raised to $5.86 per hour and would also be indexed annually to adjust for inflation.

Clark noted that a family with a full-time minimum wage earner would see its monthly income increase by about $200 a month. This increase will ensure hardworking families across New York would not have to choose between paying for their homes, purchasing fuel and energy, or purchasing food for their family.