New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer plans to call on the state today to allow New York City to set its own minimum wage, reported The Wall Street Journal.
It should be at least $11 per hour, Stringer stated in a draft of his testimony provided by his office.
“The fact is that when it comes to the minimum wage, one size does not fit all. Not when the cost of living is 80% higher in New York City than in Buffalo, 70% higher than in Rochester, or 60% higher than here in Albany,” he stated in his proposal.
Currently, local government officials in New York do not have the power to set a minimum wage in their jurisdiction. Stringer would like to change that. And he may have support on the issue from Mayor Bill de Blasio, who, during his campaign for mayor, also promised to lobby Albany to grant the city local control of minimum wage rates.
The state’s current minimum wage of $8 is set to go up to $8.75 by the end of 2014 and $9 by the end of 2015. But, according to Stringer, that’s not good enough nor fast enough for New York City residents.
The comptroller points out in his proposal that although raising the minimum to $11 per hour would provide an additional $2 billion in annual income to working families in the city, it still leaves New York City’s minimum wage, adjusted for cost of living, well below that of any other major city in the state.
Stringer hopes to persuade Albany to give New York City the authority to enact a local minimum wage as soon as next year.