Assemblymember Cahill: Minimum Wage Hike Goes Into Effect

Millions of New Yorkers to receive larger paychecks
January 4, 2005

New bi-partisan legislation raising New York’s woefully inadequate minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.15 per hour went into effect January 1st of this year, Assemblymember Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) announced. The legislation, which increases the wage gradually over three years, brought the state’s minimum wage up to $6.00 this year.

"As of January 1st, the state finally came through for every working New Yorker struggling from paycheck to paycheck," Mr. Cahill said. "A higher minimum wage will give them an honest opportunity to finally enjoy the fruits of their labor."

Following this year’s hike to $6.00 per hour, the wage will again increase to $6.75 per hour on January 1, 2006, and $7.15 per hour on January 1, 2007. Food service workers receiving tips also receive yearly wage increases under the plan. The tip minimum wage rose from $3.30 to $3.85 per hour this year. It will increase to $4.35 on January 1, 2006 and $4.60 on January 1, 2007.

In August, the Assembly overrode the Governor’s veto of the legislation. The Governor’s call to wait for the federal government to raise the minimum wage ignored the immediate economic stress on New York’s lowest-paid workers. This past December, the Senate followed the Assembly’s lead and rightfully considered the needs of New York’s working families ahead of the Governor’s misguided reasoning.

"It’s unfortunate that the Governor tried to stand in the way of paying a fair wage for hard work, but the Assembly and Senate came together to do what is best for New York’s working families," Mr. Cahill said. "Raising the minimum wage just makes sense for the people in this state."