The days after the mayor releases his preliminary budget are usually filled with protests by advocates stomping their feet, decrying cuts to favored programs on the steps of City Hall.
But today, the labor groups, workers, and council members rallying outside City Hall were there to hail Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call during his State of the City speech for an increase in the minimum wage.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t appear inclined to grant Mayor Bill de Blasio’s request to grant the city control of its own local minimum wage–setting the stage for another major policy disagreement between the state’s leading two Democrats.
Speaking on The Capitol Pressroom radio show this morning, Mr. Cuomo was directly asked whether he favored Mr. de Blasio’s plan, which would give the city the freedom to raise the minimum without Albany’s permission. Though he didn’t reject it outright, Mr. Cuomo suggested a potentially “chaotic” and “unproductive” situation would emerge if every city set its own wage laws.
Mayor Bill de Blasio declared today in his State of the City address that he will urge state lawmakers to grant New York City the power to raise its own minimum wage, setting up yet another struggle between progressives and right-leaning lawmakers in the state.
This campaign, however, could face even more resistance in Albany than Mr. de Blasio’s plan to hike taxes on the rich to fund universal prekindergarten, experts say.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is going to hang another key proposal of his early administration on Albany, announcing plans today to push state lawmakers to allow the city to set its own minimum wage during his first State of the City address.
Step aside Governor Andrew Cuomo, President Barack Obama has one-upped your minimum wage proposal.
In his State of the Union speech tonight, Mr. Obama unveiled a number of initiatives, including a new national minimum wage rate of $9.00 an hour, raised from the previous minimum of $7.25.
“We know our economy is stronger when we reward an honest day’s work with honest wages,” Mr. Obama says in his prepared remarks.
Queens Councilman Eric Ulrich, currently a candidate for the State Senate against Joe Addabbo, announced he supports legislation to increase New York State’s minimum wage to $8.50 this evening. The move places him on the opposite side of the issue than Majority Leader Dean Skelos and the Republican conference, who steadfastly oppose the legislation.
“People are hurting in Queens and the current minimum wage simply isn’t enough to make ends meet for families here,” Mr. Ulrich said in a statement. “Single parent households are especially hit hard by the rising cost of living in New York. The bottom line is that there simply aren’t enough hours in the week at $7.25 per hour to pay the rent or mortgage and to buy the basic household items they need. I have listened to both sides of this argument, but one truth resonates more than any other: If we don’t take this action, too many families are going to go under.”
Democrats the State Legislature are pushing hard for an increase in the minimum wage this year, but Governor Andrew Cuomo remains solidly skeptical of the ability of the legislation to get anywhere in the Republican-controlled State Senate.
“The Assembly has put forth a bill. I support the concept of a minimum wage increase as you know,” Mr. Cuomo methodically explained in an interview on The Capitol Pressroom earlier this morning. “I think it would be appropriate. The Senate does not agree and the Senate feels quite strongly about their position.”
Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver might be aggressively pushing for an increase to New York State’s minimum wage, but Majority Leader Dean Skelos threw a big bucket of cold water on the idea after a press conference on college affordability earlier today.
“Every single small businessperson, that I’ve had the opportunity to meet with and talk to, say they would have to lay off people because of these additional costs,” he said. “To me, the moral imperative is to have as many people working as possible.”
State of the City
On “The Capitol Pressroom,” Andrew Cuomo said that a minimum wage hike this year “would be in order.”
From the awesome file: Bill Clinton reviews Robert Caro’s latest bio of LBJ.
Nick Confessore goes long on the Obama administration’s efforts to woo Wall Street.
Mitt Romney’s budget plan would wallop New Yorkers Read More
In his State of the City address today, Mayor Bloomberg will propose something akin to splitting the baby on the living wage fight when he comes down in favor of a boost in the minimum wage.
“The genius of the free market is not always perfect,” Bloomberg said, according to the prepared text of his speech. “Two of our neighbors – Connecticut and Massachusetts – have raised their minimum wage above the Federal standard to address higher costs of living. And so while we would prefer the Federal government to act to keep us competitive, this year, we will join Speaker Shelly Silver in pushing for a responsible raise in the minimum wage.”