Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D) joined with members of the Senate Democratic Conference to call for immediate action to raise the New York State minimum wage and index future increases to the rate of inflation.
“During these tenuous economic times, it is imperative that all working New Yorkers have the ability to provide for their families and contribute to the recovery of the economy,” Senator Hassell-Thompson said. “While this is an issue that encompasses both moral and economic schools of thought, it should not be tainted by partisan politics. At the current minimum wage, a full time worker cannot support a family.”
By increasing the minimum wage from $7.15 to $9.00, approximately one million workers or about 11 percent of New York’s workforce would be affected. The legislation supported by the Democratic Conference would not only increase the minimum wage, but would also index future increases with the rate of inflation, thus ensuring that New Yorkers earning the minimum wage never again incur de facto pay cuts due to stagnant wages and increased costs of living.
The cost of living in New York State is among the highest in the country, yet eighteen other states have minimum wages higher than New York, including neighboring states like Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont; placing New York State with the greatest income inequality of any state in the nation.
“We cannot continue to let the hard working people of this state fight the battle of minimum wage alone. The Senate Democratic Conference stands united to ensure that our State’s minimum wage is transformed from a minimum wage to an actual living wage in order to help all New Yorkers live a better life,” Senator Hassell-Thompson concluded.