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Speaker Silver Calls For Faster Increase In State Minimum Wage

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (credit: Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) said Monday that he wants to accelerate the state’s scheduled minimum wage increase to $9 by 2015 and tie it to the inflation rate.

Silver said he will introduce legislation to do so.

The state Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo approved increases to minimum wage when they approved the state budget last March.

Minimum wage will be increased to $8 an hour, 75 cents higher than the federal minimum and the old state rate. It will rise again at the end of 2014 to $8.75 an hour and again at the end of 2015 to $9 an hour. But the increases will come without inflation adjustments.

Silver said “poverty is not a fair reward” for people who work full time.

Workers who receive tips in the restaurant and hospitality industry were not included in the state minimum wage increase. Those who receive tips may remain $5 an hour, with employers able to raise the maximum tip credits to $3 an hour the first year, $3.75 the second and $4 after that for service workers whose combined tips and wages meet or exceed the new higher minimums.

Democrats in Congress are expected to push in 2014 for increasing the federal minimum wage above $7.25 an hour.

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