New York protesters supporting a proposal to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour plan Tuesday to rally at the capitol in Albany to push the policy.
New York is among a handful of states currently considering a $15 minimum wage. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been at the forefront of the policy push and has since introduced a proposal designed to phase in the increase statewide over a few years. Thousands of workers are expected to rally in support of the proposal in Albany, reports the local affiliate of ABC News.
“They can afford it,” Michelle Payne, a worker planning to attend the rally, told the local NBC affiliate. “They have private jets and planes. We are all out here struggling, they can afford it.”
The statewide minimum wage is currently at $9.00 an hour but Cuomo has done a lot to raise it. He has given numerous speeches and has traveled around the state on a campaign-style road trip to advocate for his proposal. He has also used his executive authority to bypass the legislature to raise wages for fast-food workers, state university workers and state employees.
Those in support of the policy argue it could help address income inequality but critics aren’t so sure. Low-income workers may end up earning more money but employers may also cutback on their workforce to overcome the added cost of labor. Studies have shown both negative and positive effects.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has found any increase in the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss. The higher the increase, the more intense the projection. The University of California, Berkeley found in a study Thursday that having less people in poverty outweighs the potential job loss.
Cuomo has also proposed and implemented a number of tax cuts to help relieve costs for small businesses in the state. The union-backed Fight for $15 movement has been at the forefront of making the policy a national issue. 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.
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