New York Announces $15 Minimum Wage

But they'll have to wait awhile for it upstate
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2016 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Apr 1, 2016 6:23 AM CDT
NY Announces $15 Minimum Wage
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo talks to media members outside his office at the state Capitol.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Thursday was a great day for low-wage workers on both coasts: Just hours after California lawmakers approved a statewide minimum wage of $15 for 2022, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the minimum would hit $15 in his state sooner—at least in parts of it. The budget deal the Democratic governor hammered out raises the minimum wage in New York City to $15 by the end of 2018, but it won't reach that level in the city's suburbs until 2022, the New York Times reports. North of Westchester County, the minimum wage, currently $9, will only be increased to $12.50 by 2021, though the deal calls for it to eventually hit $15 as well.

"The current minimum wage in the state of New York ... in our opinion does not afford one the ability to live a decent life," Cuomo said, per CBS New York. "You can't raise a family on $18,000 a year in the state of New York. So we want to raise the minimum wage, which in and of itself would affect 2.3 million workers." The deal gives New York City businesses with fewer than 11 employees an extra four years to introduce the $15 minimum wage and includes what Cuomo calls a "safety valve" for upstate wage increases, under which state analysts would measure the economic impact of rising pay. (More minimum wage stories.)

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