Assemblyman William Colton (D-47th District, Bensonhurst/Gravesend) announced his support and is a sponsor for an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour starting January 2013 and then linking it to the rate of inflation beginning January 2014; additionally, the minimum wage for food-service workers who receive tips would be 71 percent of the minimum wage, increasing it from $5.00 to $5.86 per hour in January 2013 and linking it to the rate of inflation beginning January 2014 (A.9148).
“No one who works full time should be poor and without hope,” the feisty Assemblyman said. “We need to reward work and restore a sense of fairness. We need to raise the minimum wage. New York’s working families are seeing a decline in their purchasing power, and the question is no longer whether they can live on the minimum wage, it’s whether they can survive on the minimum wage,” Assemblyman Colton added. “With income inequality increasing, it’s vital that we rekindle the spirit of shared prosperity and the dignity of hard work.” The workers that receive minimum wage spend their hard earned money on necessities for their families and spend it in the communities where they live and work. So increasing their wages increases business for our neighborhood businesses and shops.
In 2010, the top three jobs in industries that saw growth nationwide were retail sales employees, cashiers and food preparation workers – all of which are predominately minimum-wage jobs. By increasing the state’s minimum wage, more than 1 million New Yorkers would benefit, Colton added.
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. In addition, the minimum wage in New York has only increased 10 cents per hour in the past five years, which is insufficient for families to comfortably maintain a household, Assemblyman Colton added.
“We must increase the minimum wage so lower-income families aren’t forced to choose between everyday necessities like rent, heat, gas, food and prescription drugs,” Assemblyman Colton said. “Raising the minimum wage would also help our local economy by putting money in the hands of people most likely to spend it. This measure will create jobs, not kill them. It’s time to get this done for hardworking Brooklyn families.”