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Increased minimum wage proposal in state budget draws bi partisan support
ALBANY – A day after Governor Cuomo and legislative leaders reached a deal on the 2013 state budget, there are many aspects drawing bi partisan support including increasing the minimum wage.
At one time Republican Senators said they would not support a minimum wage hike, in fact a bill to raise the figure to $9 an hour never made the senate floor after the Assembly passed it earlier this month. Now, thanks in part to $800 million worth of tax breaks for businesses, GOP lawmakers are on board with the hike.
“I can live with it,” said Senator Tom Libous, R-Binghamton. “I'm sure a lot of my businesses will still be upset but in a sense it was a victory for them compared to where it was going.”
Thanks to the tax breaks New York businesses will receive, if approved, Libous said he can support raising the wage.
The plan in place to hike minimum wage would increase the figure to $9 an hour by 2015.
“As a whole I support it because there are tax cuts to offset these items,” said Senator John DeFrancisco, R- Syracuse. “In a perfect world I wouldn't have wanted to see it in that budget.”
Although the minimum wage aspect of the budget was pushed for by member of the Independent Democratic Conference, a group of five elected Democrats who sided with Republicans to form a coalition majority to run the senate, some rank and file democrats are unhappy with the plan.
“I know we had enough Democrats ready to vote for a $9 an hour minimum wage, with indexing, if it made it to the floor as a stand alone bill,” said Senator Liz Krueger, D- Manhattan.
The senate is back in session Saturday March 23rd, at 4:00pm, where they will then take up the budget.