Issues: Minimum Wage

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

In the News: Women's Groups: Let Cities and Counties Increase Minimum Wage (Source:

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

Media Advisory: Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to be Guest on the Capitol Pressroom

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins will be joining Susan Arbetter of Capitol Pressroom this morning at 11:15 AM to discuss the need to raise the state’s minimum wage and index it to the rate of inflation.

WHAT: Interview with Susan Arbetter of the Capitol Pressroom

WHO: Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

WHEN: Wednesday, February 27th 2013, at 11:15 AM

Click here to listen LIVE!

February 27, 2014

In the News: New York Democrats Push Fair Pay For Contract Public Employees (Source: Daily News)

In the wake of the Daily News Fight for Fair Pay Campaign, state Senate Democrats on Tuesday called on seven state public authorities to immediately hike contract workers’ pay to at least $9 an hour. 

The MTA and the Thruway Authority were among the seven agencies that received the letters from Senate Democratic leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.

February 26, 2014

#RaiseUpNY Launch Press Conference

Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins spoke at the launch of #RaiseUpNY on Tuesday, February 11th to show the Democratic Conference's support to give local cities and towns the power to raise the minimum wage.

February 12, 2014

In the News: NY Democrats Push for Faster Minimum-Wage Hike (Source:

Democrats in the state Legislature are hoping to accelerate New York’s scheduled minimum-wage increase, using President Barack Obama’s national push to boost their plan.

“We understand that our business is unfinished and we need to make sure that we accelerate the minimum wage so that it will reflect what New Yorkers want,” Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers, said at a news conference Tuesday.

Click here to read the full article.

February 11, 2014

Let Cities, Counties Supplement State's Minimum Wage (Commentary on Times Union by Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assemblyman Karim Camara)

As a nation, we've long agreed that everyone who's willing to work hard should have a shot at moving up in the world. But as families today know all too well, the middle class feels awfully elusive when you earn $8 an hour.

That's why we're supporting legislation that would allow municipalities in New York to supplement the state's minimum wage to be more in line with regional living costs. We recognize that New York is a diverse state, and a nuanced, local approach makes more sense than a one-size-fits-all policy. After all, a decent wage in Binghamton isn't necessarily the same for Buffalo or Albany County.

February 11, 2014

In the News: Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins Discusses Minimum Wage (Source: Capital Tonight)

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins appeared on the Capital Tonight to discuss the minimum wage, "hoping to reopen dialogue and get some momentum to raising minimum wage in accelerated phase, indexing it to inflation" for a more sustainable lifestyle for minimum wage workers in New York State.

Click here to view the video.

February 6, 2014

Press Release: Senate Democratic Conference Announces Action On Minimum Wage

Albany, NY - The Senate Democratic Conference on February 4th announced the introduction of three bills relating to the New York State minimum wage. These three pieces of legislation would enable local governments to raise the minimum wage in their localities, expedite the increase of the state’s minimum wage, and end the corporate tax credit for employers who pay workers the minimum wage.

February 4, 2014

Media Advisory: Senate Democratic Conference Announces Action On Minimum Wage

The Senate Democratic Conference will hold a press conference today, February 4th 2014 at 1:00 PM, to announce the introduction of legislation relating to the New York State minimum wage and call for immediate Senate action.

WHO: Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins Members of the New York State Senate Democratic Conference

WHEN: Tuesday, February 4th 2014 at 1:00 PM

WHERE: Senate Democratic Conference Room, Room 315 Capitol, Albany

February 4, 2014

Senator Stavisky Welcomes New York City Council Members in Albany


Albany, NY— Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) welcomed a delegation of New York City Council Members to her office in Albany to discuss collaboration between the city and the state on issues such as taxation, universal pre-K and the minimum wage.

January 29, 2014

Senator Kennedy Announces Minimum Wage Increasing December 31 for Local Workers

On December 31, New York State’s minimum wage will rise to an hourly rate of $8.00. 

Kennedy: A higher minimum wage will help working families make ends meet and live a little more comfortably.

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, announced the minimum wage will rise to $8 an hour tomorrow, December 31. Kennedy said this wage increase is the first of three raises that will result in minimum-wage workers earning $9 an hour by the end of 2015. The higher wages will be a welcome boost for workers and families in Western New York and across the state, says Kennedy who has helped lead the charge for raising the minimum wage.

December 30, 2013

Peralta: Stop the insanity, repeal min. wage tax credit

As reported by the Legislative Gazette:

New York state Sen. Jose Peralta, D-Jackson Heights, has responded to what editorial writers have called "economic insanity" and introduced legislation to repeal the Minimum Wage Reimbursement Credit approved by the state Legislature during the budget process.

Peralta's legislation (S.4500) — "an act to repeal certain provisions of the tax law relating to the minimum wage reimbursement credit"— was referred to the Investigations and Government Operations committee on April 3. There is no same-as bill in the Assembly.

For full article, click here. 

April 16, 2013

Los subsidios por alza en salario mínimo son injustos

Por José Peralta, para El Diario:

Los cargos federales de corrupción presentados en los últimos días contra miembros de la legislatura estatal y el Concejo Municipal han sacudido la confianza en el sistema político.

Y con razón. Las acusaciones son muy graves y representan traiciones conmovedoras a la confianza pública.

Como dije en diciembre, poco después de la condena criminal de mi predecesor, la manera de restaurar la fe del público en el gobierno es a través de un servicio al pueblo honorable. Eso es lo que el pueblo espera y lo que merece.

Para el artículo completo, haga clic aquí.

April 16, 2013
March 27, 2013

Peralta: State Seems Determined to Shrink Middle Class

Statement From State Senator Jose Peralta

“We seem determined to shrink our middle class, grow the ranks of the impoverished and widen the gap between the richest and poorest.  It’s the only way to explain the minimum wage debacle that’s playing out and why immigrants who want to go to college, work and pay taxes are treated like social outcasts.”


March 21, 2013

Leader Stewart-Cousins Statement on Minimum Wage

"As details emerge it is clear that the current minimum wage proposal has some serious issues.While increasing the minimum wage to $9.00 is something that the Senate Democrats have longsupported, we are disappointed that the current proposal doesn't reach this level for three years, isnot indexed to the rate of inflation and does not raise the wages of certain service workers. The Governor and the Assembly all originally proposed acceptable proposals, unfortunately the SenateRepublicans have blocked these efforts. We propose removing this discussion from the budget andwe stand ready to provide 27 votes for raising the minimum wage quicker, with indexing and for alllow wage workers."

March 20, 2013
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