Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez Votes to Increase Minimum Wage for Over 1 Million New Yorkers

May 15, 2012

Assemblyman Robert J. Rodriguez (D-68th) announced the Assembly passed legislation to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour beginning January 2013, while also increasing the minimum wage for food-service workers who receive tips from $5.00 to $5.86 per hour. Both wage rates would then be indexed to inflation beginning January 2014 (A.9148). The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

“During this difficult economic time, raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do,” Rodriguez said. “Simply put, people who work full time shouldn’t be poor. The Assembly’s legislation would help make sure that New Yorkers living on minimum-wage salaries can actually survive on the minimum wage. I strongly urge the Senate to pass this crucial measure.”

According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, 78 percent of New Yorkers support raising the minimum wage. Of the New Yorkers who support increasing the minimum wage, 37 percent are behind raising it to $8.50 an hour and 52 percent support an even higher increase.

“Over the past five years, New York’s minimum wage has only increased 10 cents per hour, which is not enough for New York families to pay for things like rent, heat, gas, food and prescription drugs,” Rodriguez said. “By increasing the minimum wage, the quality of life for more than 1 million New Yorkers will be improved.”

Currently, the neighboring states of Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts – as well as 15 other states across the country and the District of Columbia – all have higher minimum wages than New York.

“This measure is a win-win for New Yorkers,” Rodriguez said. “Not only are we helping working families afford basic necessities, we are also putting money in the pockets of those most likely to spend it right here in our community, helping boost the economy and create jobs.”