Reps: Postpone any minimum wage changes

Assemblyman Andy Goodell wants minimum wage hikes delayed until 2024.

State Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay, and Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, want to delay any further minimum wage increases until the end of 2024.

Borrello and Goodell have introduced S.5417 in the state Senate and A.6239 in the Assembly to amend the state Labor Law. Under state law passed in 2016, minimum wage increases in areas of New York outside of New York City, Long Island and Westchester County reached $12.50 on Dec. 31, 2020. The minimum wage in New York City for large employers has been $15 an hour since 2019 and $15 an hour for small employers since the start of 2020. It will reach $15 an hour in Long Island and Westchester at the end of 2021.

Starting this year, the state budget director and state labor commissioner have the ability to increase the minimum wage by a set percentage that takes into account the inflation rate for the most recent 12-month period ending in June, ,the rate of state personal income growth for the prior calendar year or wage growth.

“Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small business owners were struggling to grow their business and be successful because of countless obstacles,” Borrello and Goodell said in their legislative justification. “One of the most burdensome has been the annual minimum wage increases. New York state is facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Recession. Thousands of small businesses have closed and millions of New Yorkers have lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic. Current law allows for annual increases to continue until the minimum wage rate reaches $15 per hour.”

This bill would delay any consideration for a minimum wage increase until 2024 in order to help assist these businesses in their economic recovery.”

State Sen. George Borrello wants minimum wage hikes delayed until 2024.

According to the Labor Law Center, the following states are set to raise their minimum wage at various points throughout 2021:

¯ Alaska: $10.34

¯ Arizona: $12.15

¯ Arkansas: $11.00

¯ California: $14.00

¯ Colorado: $12.32

¯ Delaware: $10.25

¯ Florida: $8.65

¯ Illinois: $11.00

¯ Maine: $12.15

¯ Maryland: $11.75

¯ Massachusetts: $13.50

¯ Michigan: $9.87

¯ Minnesota: $10.08

¯ Missouri: $10.30

¯ Montana: $8.75

¯ Nevada: $9.75

¯ New Jersey: $12.00

¯ New Mexico: $10.50

¯ New York: $12.50

¯ Ohio: $8.80

¯ South Dakota: $9.45

¯ Vermont: $11.75

¯ Washington state: $13.69.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is trying to increase the minimum wage, proposing an increase to the governor renewed his call to increase the state’s embarrassingly low minimum wage to $12 per hour on July 1 with annual increases of 50 cents an hour until reaching $15 per hour on July 1, 2027.

“This is not about $7.25, it’s about the nearly 1 million Pennsylvanians who will get a raise at $12 an hour,” said Gov. Wolf. “Too many essential workers are earning poverty wages while putting themselves at risk to keep our society running. They keep food on shelves, move crucial supplies, take care of our children, and support people with disabilities. And thousands of them earn poverty wages. These hardworking people deserve better. They deserve a living wage.”

Sam Denisco of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. pointed to a recent report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that indicates a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour would lead to the loss of 1.4 million jobs nationwide, around 500,000 more than the number of people they project will be helped out of poverty. A Pennsylvania-specific study conducted last session by the Independent Fiscal Office found that an increase to $12 could lead to the loss of 34,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.

“This mirrors much of the feedback we have received from our members – who have said this type of cost mandate would force them to make very hard decisions regarding reducing hours and/or eliminating positions, increasing the prices for goods and services, and/or curtailing any possible expansions,” Denisco said.


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