The Conservative Party of New York State has launched an online petition in an effort to get the state senate’s attention, hoping desperately to leverage the legislature to block Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo from enacting a $15 minimum wage.
Prior to making a public announcement Sunday, the party first notified its members last week of the petition in a flyer. Party Chairman Michael Long said the campaign is targeted at the Republican majority in the senate.
“Our only hope at stopping this is to put pressure on the state senate, which is controlled by the Republicans,” Long told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Its all aimed at next year’s legislative session.”
Though Republicans tend not to support the $15 minimum wage, Long believes state residents must be opposed to it for lawmakers to follow. Thus far, Long has been happy with the feedback he has gotten but notes there is still much more to do.
“We have gotten a good response,” Long said. “Before we put out our press release, we sent out a flyer to 3,000 state residents.”
Increasing the state minimum wage would be disastrous for jobs and businesses, Long alleges.
“New York is already a place where its hard to find a job,” Long noted. “It will drive businesses out of the state.”
“[Cuomo’s] just doing this to get reelected or a stamp of approval he’s progressive liberal enough,” he continued. “This is strongly politically motivated.”
Currently the state minimum wage is $8.75 an hour. The proposed increase will gradually take New York City to $15 by 2018 and the rest of the state by 2021. Cuomo first announced the increase Sept. 10. If successful, New York could become the first state with a $15 minimum wage.
Florida and Massachusetts are still just considering increasing their minimum wage to $15. Across the country, Fight for $15 has been the main advocate behind the push. The union-backed group has utilized rallies and media marketing campaigns in its efforts.
Despite a lack of successes on the state level, the movement to get a $15 minimum wage has made ground in some major cities. Last year, Seattle became the first place to enact the increase. Not long after, other cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles followed. Each increase is designed to phase in over the course of several years.
Experts and lawmakers have been fairly divided on the issue. Supporters often claim the $15 minimum wage will help the poor and stimulate economic activity. Critics, though, say such an increase will actually hurt the poor by limiting job opportunities.
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