State Senator Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis) stood with two other State Senators this week to call for an immediate minimum wage increase to be put back into the budget.
The Minimum Wage Package would increase the minimum wage to $10.50 with staggered incremental increases leading to $15 in 2018, index the State’s minimum wage to the rate of inflation to combat the rising cost of living and protect a consumer’s purchasing power from future erosion and empower local government to increase the minimum wage within their municipalities to help ensure appropriate local control based on their constituents’ needs.
Comrie was joined by Jesse Hamilton (D-Brooklyn) and Marc Panepinto (D-Buffalo) said the package builds on the work of the Senate Democratic Conference.
“This Democratic Conference is committed to making life more affordable for hundreds of thousands of struggling New Yorkers across the State,” Comrie said. “Raising the wage is an integral component of fulfilling that promise. Here in Queens, 348,000 minimum-wage workers would see an average of $110 added to their paychecks each week: dollars that add up when saving for a home, caring for a loved one or quite simply pursuing a quality of life pursuant to the middle class.”
Hamilton, who covers Central Brooklyn, said the increasing price of housing, MTA fares and family expenses demonstrate the need for increased wages.
“We need to ensure that local leaders can set a higher minimum wage to meet the needs of their communities,” he said. “And we need to ensure that workers across the state get the living wage they deserve.”
Panepinto asked Senate Republicans to drop their opposition to the minimum wage increase.
“Now is the time for Albany to work together, put New Yorkers first and fight for our forgotten middle-class and those struggling to get into it,” he said.