minimum wage

Mike Groll / AP

Business leaders, particularly those in upstate New York, say the 2016 legislative session, which recently concluded, was the worst for small businesses in quite some time.

Business owners say that a session that saw the minimum wage increase, to eventually $15 an hour in New York City and $12.50 upstate, along with a phased-in partial paid family leave, will be costly to smaller employers who operate on the edge in a shaky economy.

Richard Drew / AP

The new state budget has been in place for nearly a week, but little attention has been paid to many of the items that are in it. A government reform group says that’s by design.

As soon as the state spending plan was passed, Governor Andrew Cuomo made the most of two items that have received the greatest public attention: a graduated increase in the state’s minimum wage, and a future paid family leave program, to take full effect in several years.

The budget passed on a Friday night. By Monday morning Cuomo was at a political rally touting his successes.

Labor advocates say they want the state of Connecticut to tax companies that pay low wages to their employees, companies like big box retail stores and fast food chains.

Advocacy group Connecticut Working Families says the state effectively subsidizes those companies.

Rachel Ackoff / Bend the Arc

Advocates gathered at several Long Island Rail Road stations on Monday to pressure lawmakers to include a $15 minimum wage in the New York State budget. More than a dozen supporters, including Rachel Ackoff of Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, held a press conference at the Hicksville train station.

AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has released a report that it says shows the benefits of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next few years. Business groups charge the study is biased. 

Cuomo has been pushing hard for a phased in $15 an hour minimum wage, putting the proposal into his state budget and campaigning for the measure with Vice President Joe Biden. 

“Every working man and woman in the state of New York deserves $15 an hour as a minimum wage,” Cuomo shouted at rally last fall. 

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