Democratic lawmakers in New York State are pushing for an increase in the minimum wage. However, they have yet to decide on a specific amount, leaving the question open in their budget resolutions introduced this week.
Both the state Senate and Assembly support a higher minimum wage than the current $15 an hour in the New York City area and $14.20 north of Westchester County, as well as linking future increases to the rate of inflation. This move could give lawmakers flexibility in upcoming negotiations with Governor Kathy Hochul, who has backed indexing the wage to inflation.
The proposed plans do not explicitly embrace legislation that would raise the wage to $21.25 by 2027, but lawmakers have made it clear that they want to increase wages for the lowest-paid New Yorkers and end the wage differences based on region.
The current minimum wage system is multi-tiered based on the state’s geography and varying costs of living. New York City and suburban counties received a fast wage hike to $15, but the wage in upstate New York is now subject to changes by a board at the state Department of Labor, which has recommended increases in recent years.
The debate over increasing the minimum wage in New York is ongoing, with lawmakers working to finalize the state budget in the coming days.
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