Assembly Democrats on Thursday introduced a pair of bills that would speed up the amount of time it would take for the entire amount of the minimum wage increase to be instated one full year ahead of schedule.
The measures, announced in a news release by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Assembly Labor Committee Chairman Carl Heastie, come after the state’s minimum wage officially increase from the federal $7.25 minimum to $8 on December 31, 2013.
Another increase is scheduled for the end of 2014, bringing the minimum wage to $8.75.
The third part of that increase would bring the final minimum wage to $9, scheduled to kick in by the end of 2015.
But Assembly Democrats have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the original agreement and want the full increase to $9 to happen much sooner– as early as the end of the year, by December 2014.
They are saying that considering the long-suffering economy, the full increase needs to happen sooner rather than later for minimum wage workers.
“Introducing this legislation to accelerate the three-stage minimum wage increase underscores the fact that right now, there are thousands of hardworking men and women that are still forced to choose between putting food on the table for their families and paying their bills each month,” said Silver in a Statement.
“These are the people – the families with children to feed, houses to maintain and doctor’s expenses to pay for – that simply cannot wait two more years for a decent raise.
“It is unreasonable to condemn these families to a life of poverty in order to appease large-scale businesses that are exploiting the working poor to maximize profits.”