New York State Lawmakers Eyeing Big Change to Minimum Wage
According to a report by Joe Mahoney of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, two New York State Democrats are looking to make a major change to the state's minimum wage.
According to Mahoney's report, Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner of the Bronx and State Senator Jessica Ramos of Queens are gathering support for a bill that would tie New York State's minimum wage to the consumer price index in an effort to keep the minimum wage in line with the rising cost of living.
State Senator Ramos said "Historically, yearly gains in inflation have decreased the value of the minimum wage, chipping away at workers' purchasing power and leading to hardship for many."
Peter Warren, who wrote an analysis for the Empire Center for Public Policy, told Mahoney "If you're an employer, to make the math work, you've got to have fewer employees. You're going to let go of those employees who are the least skilled and the least educated. So the upshot is the people who are disproportionately impacted are the very people Senator Ramos and others are saying they are trying to help."
According to the bill, the purchasing power of New York City's $15 minimum wage has declined to $12.96, and in Upstate New York the minimum wage hasn't even reached $15 yet. Should the bill pass, increases in minimum wage to keep in line with inflation would no longer require the New York State Legislature to act, instead making increases automatic based on the inflation rate. The bill is currently in assembly committee.