NYS INDEXED $9/HR. MINIMUM WAGE PLAN
BALCONY is pleased that momentum is building in New York State and the nation to raise the minimum wage to an indexed $9 per hour.
Following President Barack Obama's urging of Congress to pass federal legislation backing such a measure, state leaders in New York have taken steps to move forward similar legislation. At the same time, Governor Andrew Cuomo has advocated for a higher minimum wage.
It appears that both the President and New York State legislators are now backing a concept BALCONY put forward almost a year ago: the idea of increasing the minimum wage in subsequent years based on jumps in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). We applaud President Obama for pushing this issue, and are thankful for Governor Cuomo's support and look forward to New York State enacting this law.
We offer as further evidence of the economic benefits of a higher minimum wage an analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute that states that a wage hike could result in 7,300 new jobs in New York State. In addition, a thought-provoking proposal by DEMOS asserts that an hourly wage of $12.25 for millions of the nation's retail workers could result in an $11.8 billion-$15.2 billion increase in U.S. GDP, within one year.
BALCONY Backs $9/hr NYS Indexed Minimum Wage Plan
By Cynthia DiBartolo
Tigress Financial Partners CEO,
BALCONY Executive Board Member and
Greater New York Chamber of Commerce Chairperson
The Business and Labor Coalition of New York (BALCONY) urges New York State to pass legislation mirroring President Barack Obama's call for a $9 per hour indexed minimum wage.
"Even with tax relief, the current [$7.25] minimum wage we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong," President Obama said in his State of the Union address, adding, "let's declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty, and raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour."
That said, New Yorkers are fortunate that Governor Andrew Cuomo has taken the lead and wants a higher minimum wage. Further, I am thrilled that New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver supports increasing the minimum wage to an indexed $9 per hour.
How will this affect businesses?
Business owners are wary of any additional costs. But most business owners care for and worry about their employees and note on a daily basis the negative effect of dwindling spending power in the face of rising prices that low paid hourly workers face. Less spending power means less money for businesses, statewide.
As for the argument that a higher minimum wage kills jobs, let's look at the facts. Nearby states like Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut haven't lost jobs to New York by having higher minimum wages. If we paid a more realistic minimum wage, our business leaders would stay right where they are.
The Fiscal Policy Institute has stated that a higher minimum wage will result in more consumer spending, and will actually generate more jobs. As a businesswoman who is deeply concerned with the New York State economy, I totally agree that we need to increase the minimum wage.
Therefore, the time has come to enact appropriate legislation.
|Senate Coalition Leaders, Republican Dean Skelos and Democrat Jeff Klein, have said the Senate is open to the issue. And Skelos recently noted that, unlike Washington D.C. - a place of "outright dysfunction" - legislative compromises can be made in Albany.
That said, New York State should show Washington D.C. how the legislative process is supposed to work - in a bipartisan fashion. There is a groundswell of support for increasing the minimum wage in New York State. Business for a Fair Minimum Wage was able to gather 25,000 signatures for a petition calling on Albany to enact the $9 indexed minimum wage legislation, just days after the President called on Congress to address the issue.
New York State needs to continue its national leadership role and get behind the President's call to hike the minimum wage to an indexed starting point of $9 per hour.
Silver throws support behind indexed $9/hour minimum wage Assembly bill. Commending
President Barack Obama's call for Congress to pass an indexed $9 per hour national minimum wage, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver recently co-sponsored bill A.38
The legislation was introduced by Keith Wright (D-Harlem) and would increase New York State's $7.25 per hour minimum wage to an indexed $9 per hour.
The increase would take effect in January 2014. The wage would then be indexed annually, according to jumps in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Indexing would begin in January 2015.
A.38 currently enjoys bipartisan support from 88 Assembly members, and Republican Senate Coalition Leader Dean Skelos has said that he has not ruled out increasing the minimum wage.
SIGN PETITION IN SUPPORT OF HIGHER NYS MINIMUM WAGE
BALCONY urges its members to sign the Business For a Fair Minimum Wage petition to urge New York State to raise the minimum wage to an indexed $9 per hour.
To date, Business For a Fair Minimum Wage and Strong Economy for All Coalition and others have gathered over 25,000 signatures, which includes BALCONY's support.
Raising the minimum wage will help millions of hard-working New Yorkers escape poverty, and will increase their spending power, which, in turn, will improve New York State's economy and create more jobs.
Click here for the PETITION.
Increased Minimum Wage Would Spark Economy, Create Jobs According to Fiscal Policy Institute
The Fiscal Policy Institute, in January 2013, noted that even a modest increase in New York State's and the federal minimum wage (to $8.75) would increase consumer spending by over $1 billion, thus pumping more money into the national and local economies. Those benefits would abound if the minimum wage were as high as $10 - which could eventually happen under state legislation aimed at enacting an indexed $9 hourly minimum wage, starting next year - FPI asserts.
The reason for this, says James Parrott
, FPI deputy director and chief economist
, is that lower-wage workers are more likely to spend extra wages immediately. Further, they are even more likely than higher earners to spend that money locally, which benefits New York State's economy.
This boon to the state economy would increase the bottom lines of many businesses and could result in at least 7,300 additional jobs, according to FPI.
For the full FPI report, click here: WAGE
$12.25 Hourly/$25K Annual Minimum Wage
Could Bump U.S. GDP by $15.2 billion
As New York State mulls whether it will raise its minimum wage to an indexed $9 per hour, in response to a proposal by President Barack Obama, a November 2012 report by Demos notes that an even higher minimum wage could strongly impact the national economy.
The Demos report contends that paying full-time, low-wage retail workers at least $12.25 per hour-equivalent to $25,000 annually-could increase the nation's GDP by $11.8 billion-$15.2 billion within a year's time. The theory relies on the concept that increasing the earnings of lower-wage workers will prompt them to spend more.
Increasing the pay of the nation's retail workers could benefit some 3.5 million low-wage earners, many of whom have families and are currently struggling to make ends meet, and, thus, have little, if any disposal income.
Read the entire report here: DEMOS
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