New York Governor Proposes Two Minimum Wage Increases

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his plans to increase minimum wage for both New York City and the entire state. On Sunday, the governor revealed the new prospective minimum wage rates as $10.50 for the state and a high $11.50 for New York City.

Coumo, a Democrat, has expressed his belief that the New York market can handle this change. Despite the fact that the state legislature has to approve it, Governor Cuomo stands firm on the idea that the financial realities are far better than they used to be.

“The world has changed. The market is strong and I believe, this market, at this rate of strength, can deal with this.”

The state of New York already has a rate increase system in place, which would allow the minimum wage to naturally increase to $9 per hour by 2016. A big change from his feelings toward the matter last year, Cuomo now considers the rate of increase to be slow. According to the New York Times, Governor Cuomo was in opposition to different minimum wages in different municipalities in 2014. This caused political tension between the governor and the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.

Now it has been said that Cuomo is in pursuit of similar goals as President Barack Obama, whose overall plan is to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for the entire country. While Obama’s goal is an original from his campaign platform, Governor Cuomo’s newly-formed goal is the result of his close work with the Working Families Party. Under this parties plan, New York City would be allowed a minimum wage as high as $13.13 per hour. Cuomo’s plans are popular among labor unions and families of laborers, but is likely to be rebuffed by the GOP-controlled senate.

State GOP chairman, Ed Cox, has already expressed his opposition to the idea.

“Raise the minimum wage and you reduce opportunities for people on the lower end of the economic ladder to get their first job.”

Cox’s seemingly sincere statement was followed up with a supportive statement by a Cuomo constituent, Sheldon Silver.

“No one who works a full time job should have to live in poverty… This is the right thing to do and I hope we can make it a reality this year.”

Governor Cuomo’s minimum wage announcement was only one on a long list of changes he’d like to make in the state of New York. Also on his agenda is cutting small business taxes, alleviating student debt, and a borrowed idea from the state of California about college and university regulations. If the increase does pass through the senate, New York will hold one of America’s highest state minimum wages.