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What are the two main minimum wage proposals in New York? Why is the business community concerned?

The business community in New York is following and weighing in on a plan, already endorsed by Governor Kathy Hochul, to index the minimum wage to inflation.

New York’s minimum wage just increased to $14.20 per hour for upstate workers and $15 for downstate, Westchester, New York City and Long Island.

Two solutions for indexing are under discussion.


A legislative proposal, spearheaded by Assemblywoman LaToya Joyner and Sen. Jessica Ramos, both Democrats, would raise the minimum wage to $21.25 by 2026 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island and $20 an hour by 2026 for Upstate.

Increases would also be tied to productivity.

On the other hand, Hochul has called for indexing the current wage to inflation, based on increases in the Northeast Consumer Price Index for wage earners, with a cap on the size of increases and a waiver if economic conditions declined.

One business owner who spoke with FingerLakes1.com on condition of anonymity said after weathering years of increases to minimum wage, it’s time for the state to step-up. “If New York wants to keep raising minimum wage for businesses, then they need to make it more affordable to do business in New York,” they told us. “If you’re going to keep raising costs, raising taxes, and forcing baseline wages up – then we need the environment we’re doing business in to be more sustainable. Because this isn’t sustainable.”

Broadly business leaders say they are concerned that any increase will have a cost and could be inflationary.



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