East Fishkill, NY - Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor (R,C,I - East Fishkill) issued a statement today criticizing Governor Cuomo's decision to unilaterally move to raise the minimum wage for some businesses without legislative approval.
"Dictating new regulations outside the legislative process is a recklessly undemocratic decision by Governor Cuomo," said Lalor. "We have a process for passing new laws, and the governor has chosen to bypass it because he was only able to get part of his job-killing minimum wage through the legislature. It seems he's taking a page from President Obama's playbook and simply dictating new laws when he can't do what he wants through the legislature. Impaneling a wage board gives Cuomo's action a veneer of unbiased approval, but is there any doubt that the board will simply follow Cuomo's directions? We know how closely Cuomo has controlled previous 'independent' commissions."
Lalor added, "This isn't just undemocratic, it's a job killer. San Francisco's recent minimum wage hike is pushing small businesses to the brink of closure. This will hurt minimum-wage earners when businesses that can't afford the increase start cutting jobs. Studies have shown entry-level job opportunities decline with minimum wage increases. The governor can't simply mandate a better economy. Small businesses are struggling with New York's high taxes and never-ending regulations. New York's economy is struggling because of those taxes and regulations. The only way for government to increase wages and opportunities is to cut taxes and regulations across the board. We need to open up opportunities for businesses to thrive and create jobs in New York."
"It's also inappropriate for the governor to target just one industry," Lalor added. "Governor Cuomo says he wants to raise fast food wages because fast food CEOs are millionaires. But many fast food restaurants operate as franchises. They're small businesses. This isn't just hitting big corporations, Governor Cuomo, this is hitting small businesses. Cuomo's dictate is so vague; we don't even know how far this will go. It's up to his wage board to decide what jobs will be defined as within the 'fast food industry'. Pizzeria and deli owners, among other small businesses, don't know if they'll be included. They might not even know that this regulation could affect them until it's already passed, missing the chance to voice their opposition."