North Country Legislators Unsure On Wage Hike
Both of the north country's state senators are unsure about a proposed hike in the state's minimum wage.
The hike, which has been blocked by the state senate, may come up again as part of a power sharing arrangement between the state's Republicans and five Democrats, who call themselves the Independent Democratic Conference.
Both Governor Cuomo and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver support an increase in the state's minimum wage, but a measure to raise it from $7.25 to $8.50 died in the Republican-controlled senate last year.
State senator Patty Ritchie said she would consider a minium wage increase, if it is tied to help for small business.
"I've been concerned about what it would do to small business, so my position has been not that I'm totally opposed ot the minimum wage increase, as long as it would be coupled with some sort of tax credit for small business," Ritchie said.
State senator Joe Griffo had his own doubts.
"One thing we don't want to do is in any way contribute to further deterioration," Griffo said. "So I want to hear what people have to say that are experts in this area."
One business group, the National Federation of Independent Business, estimates a minimum wage increase would result in 22,000 lost jobs and a $2.5 billion reduction in economic output.
Thursday, July 31, 2014, Watertown, NY
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