Governor Cuomo is expected to announce his support for a statewide $15 minimum wage today, after Albany legislators rebuffed such an increase earlier this year.
The current minimum wage in New York State is $8.75 an hour, and Cuomo has previously proposed raising that to $10.50 (and NYC's to $11.50). In February he dismissed even a $13 minimum wage as a "nonstarter," though Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pushing for a $15 minimum wage in the city. A wage board subsequently impanelled by the governor to consider the issue called for an increase in fast food workers' minimum wage to $15 earlier this summer, reaching that number by 2018 in the city and statewide by 2021.
Cuomo will be joined by Vice President Joe Biden at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center this afternoon to voice his support for a wage hike for all workers. (It does not appear that Mayor de Blasio will be in attendance.) The increase would likely happen gradually, as determined by Cuomo's wage board, with New York City getting the increase by 2018—we would then join cities like Seattle and Los Angeles, who have also agreed to raise their minimums to $15/hour.
The hike is opposed by business groups, who claim employers will cut hours and lay off employees to afford paying wages. The majority of economists say that is untrue, and a report by NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer noted that the hike could help small businesses in attracting and retaining better employees.
Republicans in Albany shot down a gradual $15/hour wage increase earlier this year, but by impaneling the Wage Board, Cuomo can to enact its suggestions without approval from the Albany legislature, as he did earlier this year when the state Department of Labor raised wages for tipped workers to $7.50 an hour.