Rest Of New York State Would See Minimum Wage Rise To $10.50

Note: This article was updated on Jan. 19, 2015

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Ahead of his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing to raise the minimum wage in New York.

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It’s a two-part raise that would make the minimum wage in New York City $11.50 an hour — a full dollar more than the rest of the state.

Rebecca Cornick, a Wendy’s worker in East New York, said her paycheck is hardly enough to survive on, CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported.

“Right now, making $8.75 an hour has put me into debt,” she said. “I’m not able to meet the demands. This job pays two-thirds of my rent.”

On Sunday, the governor laid out some of his plans for the coming term, including another increase in the minimum wage for workers like Cornick.

On Jan. 1, the minimum wage went up to $8.75 an hour. Cuomo’s proposal would make the statewide minimum wage $10.50 an hour, and New York City’s $11.50.

“This would be a recognition of the high cost of the New York City market,” Cuomo said. “The New York City market is arguably the most expensive market in the United States of America.”

But whether it’s $15 or $50, Bay Ridge restaurant owner John Fahy said any increase is a burden on his business.

“I think you might as well let everyone close their doors right now,” he said. “It makes no sense. You don’t understand small business.”

Fahy said he already limits employees to eight hours a day to avoid overtime costs. A raise in wages means less work for those workers.

“Everyone wants to work,” he said. “We’re just not going to be here. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”

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Eventually, Fahy said it will hit the customer’s wallet.

“Are you going to come out and spend $45 for a sandwich? Because that’s what it turns in to. It makes no sense,” he said. “You’re missing the whole point. You’re destroying the little guy.”

The owner of a coffee shop told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane that while he can see both sides of the argument, “I could see it affecting people in the future going forward about hiring.”

“If you’re working full-time, you should be able to make a fair living wage,” Cornick said.

Ed Cox, the chairman of the state Republican Party, said the move could only reduce the number of available jobs.

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said the idea is not on the table.

If the proposal is approved, New York would have the highest minimum wage in the country.

The governor will give his State of the State address on Wednesday.

 

 

 

 

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