Assemblyman Braunstein Votes to Increase Minimum Wage for Over 1 Million New Yorkers

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced the Assembly passed legislation to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour beginning in 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 in January 2014 (A.9148). The bill now awaits action in the Senate.

"During this difficult fiscal period, raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do,” Assemblyman Braunstein said. “This legislation would help ensure that New Yorkers living on minimum-wage salaries can actually survive on the minimum wage."

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 to prevent families from needing public assistance like food stamps or helping them pay for college,” Braunstein 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 is a win-win for New Yorkers,” Braunstein said. “Not only are we helping working families afford basic necessities, but this will also help boost the economy and create jobs.”