NY Republican Leader Sees Potential $15 Minimum Wage Compromise


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New York Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is entertaining the idea of a compromise on the $15 minimum wage, even as fellow Republicans stay steadfast against it, according to reports Sunday.

The state minimum wage is currently $9.00 an hour, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo has put the $15 policy at the forefront of his agenda. He introduced a proposal Sept. 10 designed to phase in the increase statewide over a few years and has since traveled the state to advocate for his plan. Republicans hold a majority in the state senate, but a source close to Flanagan says a compromise may be near.

“It’s like a Faustian pact with the devil,” the source tells the New York Post. “Flanagan trying to buy more time in power by giving Cuomo something that could devastate the state’s economy while boosting the governor’s standing with the unions, who wants to organize higher-paid workers, and his prospects for president in 2020.”

While low-income workers may end up earning more money, employers may also cutback on their workforce to overcome the added cost of labor. Deputy Senate Majority Leader John DeFrancisco is still holding firm against the proposal and even released a video Thursday in which he expresses his opposition.

“What we’re looking for is a logical discussion about the minimum wage increase, knowing both sides of what will happen and not just some progressive, political concept that is sweeping the nation,” DeFrancisco is shown telling a crowd in his video. “It’s not urgent.”

The union-backed Fight for $15 movement and other advocates have claimed the $15 minimum wage must be passed now. New York is among a handful of states considering the policy, but at the moment, it has only seen city level legislation pass. Oregon recently passed a measure designed to phase in a $13.50 minimum wage by 2022, putting them on track to having the highest in the country.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found both positive and negative results when it looked at minimum wage increases in the past. It found any increase in the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss. The higher the increase, the more impact it will have.

Cuomo has also proposed and implemented a number of tax cuts to help relieve costs for small businesses in the state. He has also found ways to unilaterally and partially enact the policy by utilizing his executive authority. He has bypassed the state legislature to raise wages for fast-food workers, state university workers and state employees.

Cuomo, Flanagan and DeFrancisco did not respond to request for comment by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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