Numbers released today prove that members of the New York State Senate’s Independent Democratic Conference got it right one year ago when they predicted that an annual average of at least 7,000 same sex couples would tie-the-knot over the first three years of marriage equality going into effect. With 11,518 same sex couples marrying in New York over the last year, New York experienced economic growth even greater than the IDC could have predicted.
ALBANY, N.Y. - Building upon growing momentum in support of a minimum wage increase, the Independent Democratic Conference today released a new economic report underscoring the importance of raising the minimum wage to New York’s female and minority workforce. According to the report, New York’s low-wage women and minority workers will experience an increase in earnings by over one billion dollarsif the minimum wage is increased to $8.50 or $8.75. This cross-section of low-wage workers is critical to New York’s economy since, as the report illustrates, women and minority workers make up a disproportionate number of New York’s minimum wage workers.
New York’s minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour, which equals the federal minimum wage. The neighboring states of Connecticut, Vermont, and Massachusetts all have higher minimum wages than New York currently. A person working 40 hours a week for 52 straight weeks would earn $15,080 a year, and many workers making the minimum wage aren’t scheduled to work that many hours in a week or work that many weeks, meaning that they likely make less than $15,000 a year. Given the high cost of living, especially in New York City and surrounding counties, making just $15,000 a year, even for a single person without dependents, means having barely enough to provide basic needs or afford one’s rent.
BRONX, NY - Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) joined students, parents and teachers from PS 83 today for lunch at 900 Park, a local restaurant on Morris Park Avenue. At the lunch, Senator Klein learned how a grant he provided through Project Boost to 12 schools in his district, including PS 83, has been integrated into the curriculum. The lunch itself was an event for BOOST children to offer them the opportunity to dine at a local restaurant and meet Senator Klein. Senator Klein is planning to visit all 12 participating schools in his district over the course of this semester. Senator Klein called the program dynamic and innovative:
ALBANY, NEW YORK – On Monday night, the New York State Senate passed legislation to combat childhood obesity by implementing a wide array of initiatives. These initiatives include: expanding community gardens where fresh produce is grown, kick-starting new obesity programs that encourage schoolchildren to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, and launching new services through Cornell University that provide obesity and respiratory disease prevention programs in high risk areas. Additionally, New York State will establish direct marketing campaigns aimed at encouraging children in high-risk neighborhoods to consume healthy foods.
Today, the Independent Democratic Conference released its 2013 Working Women's Agenda, a five point plan to build a stronger future for New York’s working women and their families. As part of the IDC’s agenda, the conference also released a comprehensive report entitled Building a Stronger Future for New York’s Working Women that details the impact each proposal will have on New York’s workforce.
BRONX, NY –Last night, Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) announced that he has secured $250,000 dollars in funding for Operation S.N.U.G. (guns spelled backwards), an initiative designed to reduce violence in communities in New York that experience disproportionately high rates of shootings and killings. Senator Klein made the announcement at the 49th Precinct’s National Night Out Against Crime and has committed to working with local officials and community leaders throughout the Bronx.