The Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation yesterday to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, but it may not gain traction in the Senate.
“With approximately half of minimum wage earners between the ages of 16 and 24, I worry that the Assembly’s legislation would hurt those young workers most,” Senate Majority Co-Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement.
Senate Majority Co-Leader Jeff Klein “strongly supports a minimum wage increase,” a spokesman said, and he expects it to be included in the budget.
State Sen. Diane Savino agreed. “We still believe that we can get it done in the budget, but we’re in the budget season now where everybody’s posturing for their position,” she said. “On March 22, we’re going to get a budget in on time. Between now and then we’re going to have a lot of discussion on the minimum wage and my prediction is it’s going to be part of the budget.”
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has indicated he is willing to exclude the minimum wage bill from the budget, as long as it passes before its implementation date on Jan. 1, 2014. “The important thing is that it gets done,” he said. “If we can do it with the state budget, I’m all for doing it with the state budget. If we can’t be done with the state budget, I’m all for doing it after the state budget, or for that matter before the state budget.”