With inflation continuing to rise, many hard-working people in New York are having trouble making ends meet. Prices for essentials like groceries, gas, rent, and utilities are going up, while workers' pay remains the same. But, minimum wage workers in New York State could potentially see a significant raise in their hourly rate. A new bill aims to raise the minimum wage in New York State to more than $20 an hour. Dubbed the 'Raise the Wage Act', the bill would incrementally increase New York's minimum wage.


 

Proposed New York state minimum wage legislation would boost wages for nearly 2.9 million workers. ~ Economic Policy Institute


 

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What Is New York State's Current Minimum Wage?

The minimum wage in New York will increase each year on New Year's Eve until it reaches $15 per hour. New York City and Long Island/Westchester workers already reached $15 per hour in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Around the rest of the state, the minimum wage increased on December 31, 2022. The hourly wage will increase by $1, from $13.20 to $14.20.

Many states still have the federal minimum wage, which is ridiculously low, especially now that inflation is kicking everyone's butt. It's unbelievable that 21 states still have the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming expect working people to survive off just over $7 per hour.

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Senate Bill S1978A, which is sponsored by Senator Jessica Ramos and the Assembly version, A2204, if passed,

Increases the minimum wage annually; provides for the enforcement of the minimum wage; repeals certain provisions of law relating thereto.

The bill would give raises to almost 3 million New Yorkers. It would raise the minimum in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties to $21.25 by 2026. For the rest of the state, the bill suggests the rate should eventually catch up to NYC, but at a slower pace. It also aims to index the minimum wage,

once the minimum wage across the state catches up, it must be automatically adjusted or "indexed" each year so that it doesn't fall behind again.

The bill is still in the NY State Senate Committee Labor Committee.

 

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