While the Assembly was still in the middle of debating a package of gun control bills on Tuesday afternoon, lobbyists were already pushing legislators to adopt the next set of progressive agenda items. Make the Road New York, a community advocacy group, met with legislators just outside the chamber to talk about raising the minimum wage and immigration reform.
Make the Road’s co-executive director, Deborah Axt, said the focus of their lobbying efforts would be on indexing. “If we had indexing to keep up with inflation, minimum wage would be $10.70,” she said. “The focus is on $8.50 or $8.75, which is well below what working families need to live on and below what it would have been to keep up with inflation.”
The group’s other executive director, Javier Valdes, met with legislators to push for tuition assistance for undocumented immigrant students in the state. Valdes said that some Independent Democratic senators are supportive and were trying to come up with ways how to pay for it, but Republican senators weren’t on board just yet. “Republican support is mixed,” Valdes said. “Some are concerned about how to pay for it, and others are worried about extending benefits to people who are undocumented.”