Gov. Cuomo suggested to journalists at a cocktail party sponsored by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators on Sunday that he might drop from the budget language that calls for an increase in the minimum wage, after Republican legislators complained an increase would hurt business, reported The Times-Union.
Only six weeks ago, during Cuomo’s State of the State address last month, he laid out what he called a "progressive agenda,” that called for workers' compensation reform, an expansion of the unemployment insurance for businesses and workers, and an increase in the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.25 an hour.
The current minimum wage is below 19 other states and does not reflect the cost of living in New York State, Cuomo said in his address.
Now, the governor is hinting at a reversal on his position, following pressure from Republicans who also are pointing to President Barack Obama’s call for a national minimum wage of $9 during his State of the Union address last week
Cuomo admitted the President’s proposal made the issue more “complex,” despite polls that show a minimum wage increase is supported by more than three-quarters of New Yorkers.
Cuomo said that if an increase passed federally at $9, the GOP would have a point: “But there's a long way between here and there.”
"We'll see where we are ... [as the budget deadline approaches.] It can either be done in the budget or toward the end of session,” said Cuomo.