Could annual increases to minimum wage be a focus for lawmakers this upcoming session?
A bill to deploy an annual increase to the state’s minimum wage rate died last year, but the fight to revive it is also coming to life as the new legislative session approaches.
Senator Jessica Ramos, chair of the Senate Labor Committee, recently said it comes down to families being able to maintain affordability of goods.
Inflation has been a factor, so many advocates are calling for a minimum wage rate that’s set to the Consumer Price Index. “Every time there is an economic downturn and inflation starts to rise, it is increasingly apparent that the minimum wage does not cover the bare minimum for New Yorkers,” Ramos said.
The goal of the effort is for minimum wage to reach $20 per hour in New York City. The goal for minimum wage outside the city is approximately $15.75.
Lawmakers and advocates say a new version of the bill is going to be introduced next session. “We want to make sure we’re doing it to a living wage,” Ramos added. “We don’t want working families to lose any of their purchasing power.”
Around 16% of the state’s workforce makes minimum wage.