Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee (D-Suffern) today joined the Assembly in passing legislation to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour beginning January 2013, while also increasing the minimum wage for food-service workers who receive tips from $5.00 to $5.86 per hour, and demanded the State Senate act to pass companion legislation immediately. Both wage rates would then be indexed to inflation beginning January 2014 (A.9148).
“During these still difficult times, raising the minimum wage is the right thing to do for both our families and our economy,” Jaffee said. “People who work full time shouldn’t be poor, and the Assembly’s legislation will make sure that New Yorkers living on minimum-wage salaries can actually survive on their pay. The Senate now needs to step up for our workers and pass this urgent legislation.”
According to a recent Quinnipiac Poll, 78 percent of New Yorkers support raising the minimum wage. Of the New Yorkers who support increasing the minimum wage, 37 percent are behind raising it to $8.50 an hour and 52 percent support an even higher increase.
“Over the past five years, New York’s minimum wage has only increased 10 cents per hour, which is not enough for Rockland families to pay for things like rent, heat, gas, food and prescription drugs,”Jaffee said. “By increasing the minimum wage, the quality of life for more than 1 million New Yorkers will be improved.”
Currently, the neighboring states of Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts – as well as 15 other states across the country and the District of Columbia – all have higher minimum wages than New York.
“This measure is a win-win for New Yorkers,” Jaffee said. “Not only are we helping working families afford basic necessities, we are also putting money in the pockets of those most likely to spend it right here in our community, helping boost our local economy and create the jobs our workers need.”