Fresh off President Barack Obama’s appeal during his State of the Union address to push for increases to the federal minimum wage, New York legislators introduced a series of measures to speed up and extend increases to the State’s minimum wage.
Last year, the legislature passed a measure calling for the State’s minimum wage to increase to $8.75 on December 31, 2014, and to $9.00 on December 31, 2015. One of the new proposed bills would implement the increase to $9.00 per hour this year on December 31. It would also call for future annual increases tied to the inflation rate. The proposed bill also would increase the minimum cash wage rate for food service workers immediately to $5.50 and to $6.20 on December 31, also with annual increases tied to inflation.
Another proposed bill would allow counties and municipalities to set their own minimum wage rates above the prevailing State wage rate.
The third bill would repeal a law that provides a corporate tax credit to businesses that hire young workers (ages 16 to 19) at the minimum wage rate. The stated purpose of this bill is to “remove a credit that would, in effect, incentivize businesses to substitute adequately paid older individuals and non-students with students earning the legal minimum wage.”
The bills have been referred to the relevant Senate committees for consideration. Check back here for updates on the legislature’s activities on these bills.