Assemblyman Ramos Votes to Increase Minimum Wage

Calls on State Senate to allow it to come up for a vote

Assemblyman Philip Ramos (D-Central Islip) announced that the Assembly passed legislation he sponsored to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 per hour (A.9148). If adopted into law, the bill would increase the incomes of over 1 million New Yorkers, but it will first have to pass the Senate and get the governor’s approval.

“Raising the minimum wage would mean more money in the pockets of our hardworking families, money they are most likely to spend at local businesses,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “Raising the wage will help families and local businesses.”

Currently, 18 states across the country, including the neighboring states of Vermont, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have minimum wage rates above that of New York. If the minimum wage had held pace with the rate of inflation over the past 40 years, it would currently stand at $10.39 an hour. But New York State’s minimum wage has only increased 10 cents per hour in the past five years.

Research shows that states with minimum wages above the federal level have a faster total job growth than in lower minimum-wage states.i After the last federal increase to the minimum wage in July 2009, an estimated $5.5 billion in consumer spending was generated.

If signed into law, New York State’s minimum-wage increase would take effect January 2013. Food-service workers would also receive an increase from $5.00 to $5.86 per hour and both wages would be tied to the rate of inflation beginning January 2014. Assemblyman Ramos noted that this would ensure minimum-wage workers continue to have purchasing power in the future.

“Over the years, the value of a minimum-wage salary has fallen and hardworking families are struggling to survive,” Assemblyman Ramos said. “Now we must put pressure on the State Senate to join the Assembly and pass the minimum wage increase.”