Issues: Minimum Wage

Senate to Celebrate Earth Week With a Package of Bills to Protect the Environment, Increase Green Jobs, and Boost Recreation

The New York State Senate will be celebrating Earth Week by acting upon an extensive package of 27 bills that would create new protections for natural resources, promote energy conservation, help create green jobs, and increase tourism through enhanced recreational opportunities. Senate Majority Leader Dean G.

April 20, 2015
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Senator Leroy Comrie Joins Senators Marc Panepinto and Jesse Hamilton in Calling for an Immediate Minimum Wage Increase

Upstate and Downstate Senators Find Common Ground in Fight to Raise the Minimum Wage as State Budget Deadline Looms

ALBANY, N.Y. – With the State Budget Deadline looming, freshman Senators Leroy Comrie (D-Queens), Marc Panepinto (D-Buffalo) and Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) stood together on Wednesday, March 25th 2015 and called for an immediate minimum wage increase to be put back on the table. The Senators emphasized that raising the minimum wage to a living wage not only provides direct economic relief to New York’s lowest earners but also spurs economic growth by enhancing purchasing power and injecting an estimated $3.4 billion back into our local economies.

March 30, 2015
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Statement From Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on Minimum Wage

“As more and more items are being removed from this year’s State Budget, I am especially concerned that efforts to increase the minimum wage seemed to have stalled. Now is the time to help the hard working men and women who are struggling because of our already inadequately low minimum wage. We cannot miss another opportunity to help lift over 1.1 million New Yorkers out of poverty, and finally pass a meaningful minimum wage increase with indexing."

March 27, 2015
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Senator Hamilton, Senator Comrie, and Senator Panepinto call for $15 Minimum Wage

(Albany – March 25, 2015) Senator Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn), Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Queens), and  Senator Marc Panepinto (D-Buffalo) stood together and called for an immediate minimum wage increase to be put back on the table. The Senators emphasized that raising the minimum wage to a living wage only provides direct economic relief to New York’s lowest earners and also spurs economic growth by enhancing purchasing power and injecting an estimated $3.4 billion back into our local economies.

They called for the state budget to include a Minimum Wage Package that:

- Increases the minimum wage to $10.50 now with staggered incremental increases leading to $15 in 2018.
- Indexes the state’s minimum wage to the rate of inflation to combat the rising cost of living and protect a consumer’s purchasing power from future erosion.
- Empowers local government to increase the minimum wage within their municipalities to help ensure appropriate local control based on their constituents’ needs.

March 26, 2015
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Park Slope Community Demands Justice

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann and Senator Hamilton's Director of Community Affairs Raul Rothblatt at RWDSU rally for workers at Vegas Auto Spa.

Senator Hamilton issued a statement in support of Vegas Auto Spa workers: 

"No worker should have to face abuse by an employer. Unions have long stood as a bulwark against employers making unjust demands like inadequately providing for employee safety. Failure to provide a safe work environment is unconscionable, as is failure to pay for time that employees put in on the clock. I stand with the Vegas Auto Spa workers and RWDSU because workers deserve safety. Workers deserve fair treatment. And workers deserve justice."

March 4, 2015
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Senator Marc Panepinto Praises Minimum Wage Increase for Tipped Workers to One of the Highest in Nation

ALBANY, N.Y. – Senator Marc Panepinto released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s action to raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to $7.50 per hour starting December 31, 2015:

“As someone who has traveled the country organizing on behalf of hardworking Americans, today’s announcement regarding the increase in the minimum wage for tipped workers has a special meaning for me. Finally, over 229,000 New Yorkers and their families will be delivered the financial relief that has so long been overdue and deserved. Finally, our state is taking the necessary steps to ensure that nobody who works a full-time job is forced to live in and out of poverty. With that said, there is still much work to be done this session as the fight goes on to raise the overall minimum wage to a living wage. In the spirit of today’s historic announcement for all tipped workers in this great state, we legislators have an obligation to pledge that same relief to all New Yorkers so that our middle-class has a fighting chance.”

February 25, 2015
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Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Announces “Fair New York” Plan With Major Help For Minimum Wage Workers

Create Up to 20,000 Affordable Units of Housing, Over 150,000 Thousand Jobs and Rebuilds Crumbling Infrastructure

Albany, NY - Leading up to budget negotiations, the Senate Democratic Conference today urged the state to act on “Fair New York,” an investment plan for the state’s projected $5.1 billion surplus that focuses on stimulating future economic growth by creating good jobs and making New York State a more affordable place to live and do business.  The plan makes significant one-time investments across New York State in affordable housing, transportation and education infrastructure, environmental protections and improvements and significant tax relief rebates for low-wage individuals and families.

February 19, 2015
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Senator Sanders marches with 32BJ airport workers as they demand fair wages and healthcare benefits

 

State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Rochdale Village) marched with dozens of airport workers - members of 32BJ - as they held a protest rally demanding higher wages and better healthcare benefits at JFK Airport's Terminal 7 on Thursday. Chanting slogans like "Si Se Puede" and "No Justice, No Peace," the workers which included baggage handlers, janitorial staff and passenger service workers demanded that their voices be heard. Senator Sanders a longtime supporter of 32BJ was happy to join them in their efforts and carried a sign that read "No Healthcare, No Respect."

February 17, 2015
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Independent Democratic Conference Launches 2015 Policy Agenda

“INVEST NEW YORK”

IDC Unveils 15 Innovative Investments that will Create Long Term Stability, Security and Sustainability for all New Yorkers

Proposals Invest in New York Workers, Students, Seniors and Families and Support a Significant Expansion in New York State Schools, Housing, and Communities

January 20, 2015
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INDEPENDENT DEMOCRATIC CONFERENCE LAUNCHES 2015 POLICY AGENDA “INVEST NEW YORK”

IDC Unveils 15 Innovative Investments that will Create Long Term Stability, Security and Sustainability for all New Yorkers

Proposals Invest in New York Workers, Students, Seniors and Families and Support a Significant Expansion in New York State Schools, Housing, and Communities

January 19, 2015
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Statement from Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins on the Minimum Wage

“Minimum wage earners throughout New York State continue to struggle to make ends meet and lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Though our lowest paid workers will get a small wage increase today​ they will not reach a scheduled $9.00​ per hour until New Year’s Day 2016. New York​ could and should do better. The Senate Democratic Conference will continue to fight for a real minimum wage increase.​"

Background:

December 31, 2014
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Chanukah is the celebration of Miracles!

"Chanukah is the celebration of miracles, a reminder that all things are possible," Senator Parker said.  "As you celebrate the spirit of Chanukah with friends and family, I wish you health, happiness and good fortune." The holiday celebrates a legendary victory of the Maccabees, a band of Jews, over a Greek army that occupied the Holy Land.  After the battle, the victorious Maccabees found only a one day supply of oil in the temple to light the lamps.  But the oil burned miraculously for eight days, the story says.

December 17, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Senator Sanders and Senate Democratic Conference Release Minimum Wage Report and Push for Local Minimum Wage Option

Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) joined his fellow Senate Democratic Conference members at a press conference to announce the release of a detailed report describing the economic benefits New York State would receive from an increase to the minimum wage. Senator Sanders also called for the adoption of legislation that would allow local governments to raise the minimum wage within their municipalities.

June 3, 2014
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Sanders’ Minimum Wage Bill Right Up Governor Cuomo’s Alley

This past weekend, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo vowed to support the passage of legislation that would raise the state’s minimum hourly wage to $10.10 next year, and provide for annual increases that would be indexed to the rate of inflation.

This past January, New York State Senator James Sanders Jr. (D-Queens) introduced a bill (S6334) that would achieve those very aims, help to upgrade the standard of living for the state’s working poor, and spur economic growth in every county.

June 3, 2014
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Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Release Minimum Wage Report And Push For Local Minimum Wage Option

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference today released a comprehensive report detailing the economic benefits New York State would receive from authorizing a minimum wage local option. The Senate Democratic Conference also urged for immediate passage of legislation that would allow local governments to raise the minimum wage within their municipalities.

June 2, 2014
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Media Advisory: Senate Democratic Conference Releases Minimum Wage Report And Pushes For Passage Of Local Minimum Wage Option

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference will be joined by minimum wage activists to push for Senate passage of legislation to allow local governments to raise the minimum wage within their municipalities.

WHO: Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Members of the Senate Democratic Conference, Minimum Wage Activists

WHEN: Monday, June 2, 2014 at 1:00 PM

June 2, 2014
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Democratic Conference Leader Stewart-Cousins "Raise Up NY" Press Conference

On Wednesday, April 30th, Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins spoke at the Raise Up NY press conference in support of her bill that would allow municipalities to raise the minimum wage and why this is important for the women of New York State. Organizations including Make the Road New York, the Labor Religion Coalition, and Citizen Action of New York were present and raising their voices for a living wage. Leader Stewart-Cousins described the current regimented increases as inadequate and slow and brought up the troubling statistics which show women to be the majority low-wage earners both in the United States and in New York.

April 30, 2014
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In the News: Women Leaders Pen Letter to Cuomo, Ask Him to Support Local Wage Standards (Source: Legislative Gazette)

In a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Legislature, 130 of the state's most powerful women urged the passage of #RaiseUpNY, legislation that would allow cities and counties to raise wages above the state's minimum of $8 an hour.

The #RaiseUpNY bill (S.6516/A.9036) is a plan to allow individual cities and counties within the state to set their own minimum wage, based on factors such as cost of living. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has criticized the plan saying it would create a chaotic situation throughout the state by pitting cities and counties against each other.

April 15, 2014
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In the News: Women's Groups: Let Cities and Counties Increase Minimum Wage (Source: LoHud.com)

Women’s rights advocates and legislators released a letter Monday urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to support a bill that would allow cities and counties to increase their own minimum wage.

“Failing to adequately raise the minimum wage has hampered our state’s economic growth and kept over 1.1 million hard-working New Yorkers in poverty,” State Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said in a statement. “A majority of minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are desperately trying to provide for their families and make ends meet.”

April 8, 2014
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