Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill: New York’s Workers Deserve Better Pay

Legislation would increase minimum wage to $7.25
June 28, 2004

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster and Dutchess Counties) announced that a measure he sponsored which would gradually increase the state’s minimum wage to $7.25 an hour was passed by the Assembly (A.11698). The Assembly’s bill offers the Senate a second opportunity this year to raise the minimum wage.

"People should make decent, livable wages and shouldn’t have to worry about putting food on the table after working 40 hours a week," Assemblymember Cahill said. "Hard-working New Yorkers should be fairly rewarded for their labor."

The legislation would increase the state minimum wage to $6.00 per hour on October 1, 2004, $6.75 an hour on June 1, 2005 and $7.25 on January 1, 2006. Food service workers receiving tips would also receive yearly wage increases, climbing to $4.75 an hour on January 1, 2006.

Other provisions of the bill allow an employee advocate to bring wage and hour complaints and allows the State Labor Commissioner access to wage and hour records in investigating alleged violations.

"Our state’s antiquated minimum wage of $5.15 an hour is an insult to the New Yorkers who work in some of the most difficult jobs," Mr. Cahill said. "Families need an increased minimum wage to help make ends meet. This bill marks our second push this year to increase the minimum wage and I urge the Senate and the Governor to join the Assembly in improving the lives of hard-working New Yorkers," he concluded.